superdumb supervillain: Unleaded

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Mums the Wurd is asking family bloggers to post about the toy recall epidemic. They are partnering with Natural Pod, an eco-conscious online toy store, to offer one reader a $100 gift certificate for safe, natural toys. The picture below is a beautiful wooden xylophone, which I would totally get if I won the gift certificate. It's made in Sweden with no freaky deaky paint and probably no lead in the varnish, either…

I grew up in the '70s in Hawaii where there was probably more cheap made in China crap than on the mainland. I learned to be wary of the knock-offs of popular toys at an early age, since they tended to break easily and become implements of doom. Then again, I was a pretty bookish (read: nerdy) kid and generally preferred bookstores to toystores. My husband, on the other hand, was really into his GI Joes and other action figures. Star Wars, Micronauts, Masters of the Universe. His parents even kept most of them so Roo has already started playing with them and I'm sure Jasper will, too, one of these days.

I have no idea if these old toys are necessarily more safe than the new ones. They certainly seem to be made better. I don't know if the paint is safe to gnaw on but I hope so. When I buy new toys for the kids, I try to stick to wooden and handcrafted items. But Roo does love Polly Pocket, much to my chagrin. I still think there's more danger in choking on these things than from lead. I wonder if testing has become more stringent recently. I wonder about the lead danger in the pipes of our 1951 home. I wonder about the stinky, non-flouridated local water supply. I wonder what kids whose parents don't troll the internet looking for parenting advice and safe toys will grow up like. I can only

There's an interesting, if still inconclusive, article about this mess in today's New York Times.

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