A major toy company has expanded its recall for Chinese-made toys containing lead-based paint. This is Mattel's third major recall in just over a month.
The recall affects more than 800,000 toys, including 675,000 Barbie doll accessories, 90,000 GeoTrax Locomotive toys and 8,900 Big Big World 6 in 1 Bongo Band toys, from the company's Fisher-Price brand.
The head epidemiologist in the State of Georgia, who's an expert in lead poisoning, said if you're a parent or grandparent, you should be concerned; however, remember, toys aren't the only danger.
Mattel's toy recall has major toy stores pulling the affected products off the shelves, but parents and grandparents are taking their own safety measures. Wanda McDonald of Savannah, doing some early Christmas shopping for her grandchildren, is being a little more careful about what she buys.
"I'm very concerned," she said, "especially because I buy my granddaughter a lot of the Barbies and stuff from Mattel."
Katy Olmstead's family checks the internet regularly for recalls, especially with an 8-month-old baby in the house.
"I have to watch her constantly, because she's at that age where everything's very oral and she's putting stuff in her mouth," said Olmstead.
Dr. Anil Mangla, the epidemiologist for the Georgia Department of Human Resources, who's in Savannah for a public health conference, said more awareness about the problem is leading to more testing and more recalls.
"I think every company and every parent--and I'm a concerned parent, too--is going to make sure, 'Is that toy contaminated?'" he said.
He says the best way parents can protect their children is to make sure they practice good hygiene.
"Make sure they wash their hands," said Dr. Mangla. "It's a very easy thing to do because how paint gets in your mouth is playing with the toys and with what you're eating and that's what's going to happen."
Toys are not the only problem. Doctors have found household objects, like keys or jewelry, can also contain lead as well as your house, itself.
"The major source is lead paint in houses," added Dr. Mangla, "but we are also seeing these other sources: candy, pottery coming in from other countries."
Dr. Mangla said if you live in a house that was built before 1978, have your children tested for lead poisoning. Most newer houses will not contain lead paint.
The test is a simple finger stick. It's free through the Chatham County Health Department. If you live outside Chatham County, contact your local health department.
Usually the test is less than $25. Many health departments will also work with low-income families to make the test available to them.
The Chatham County Health Department's Eisenhower Clinic is located at 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah, GA 31406. The phone number is 912.356.2441. It's open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8am to 5pm and Tuesday from 8am to 6pm.
The Chatham County Health Department's Midtown Clinic is located at 1602 Drayton Street, Savannah, GA 31416. The phone number is 912.356.2441. It's open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8am to 5pm and Thursday 8am to 6pm.
Thursday, June 20 2013 12:05 AM EDT2013-06-20 04:05:47 GMT
Details of a video deposition given by Paula Deen regarding a $1 million harrassment and discrimination lawsuit against herself and her brother, Bubba Hiers, have been made public, alleging racism and use of the n-word. More >>
Details of a video deposition given by Paula Deen regarding a $1 million harrassment and discrimination lawsuit against herself and her brother, Bubba Hiers, have been made public, alleging racism and use of the n-word while describing a theme wedding using servers dressed to resemble slaves.More >>