Vinyl baby bibs sold at Toys “R” Us stores may contain dangerous levels of lead, according to a recent Washington Post article. The bibs were produced in China for Louisiana-based Hamco Baby Products.
According to the Post article, the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, California — a nonprofit environmental advocacy group — purchased bibs from Toys “R” Us and had their lead levels independently analyzed earlier in the year. When they failed to meet acceptable health and safety standards, the group notified the store and threatened legal action if the bibs weren’t removed from shelves.
Toys “R” Us is conducting additional tests on the bibs, and has said the products will be removed if found to contain unacceptable levels of lead. According to the store, the products it sells are regularly analyzed to ensure acceptable lead levels. This additional testing is being conducted in response to the findings of the Center for Environmental Health, and in response to a decision by Wal-Mart to remove lead-tainted bibs from its shelves earlier this year. Wal-Mart removed its lead-tainted bibs after the Center for Environmental Health determined that they were unsafe and threatened legal action.
In May, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a statement regarding lead-tainted bibs, saying that they were generally safe if they were in good condition. Children ingest the lead when the vinyl becomes cracked and brittle and they are able to swallow small pieces of the bibs.
A New York Times article has claimed that bibs purchased by their investigative reporters from Toys “R” Us stores in Maryland have also been found to contain unacceptably high levels of lead.
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