Lately, the newspapers have been filled with articles about children’s toys tainted with lead paint. Most of these products were made in China. Now, we’re almost on Halloween Day and it’s interesting to note that last year at this time the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of “Creepy Capes” sold by Family Dollar, Inc. It seems that these products failed to meet the standards for the flammability of vinyl plastic film, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers. And yup, you guessed right. They were made in China too.
So far, China has been recognized as importing dangerous foods and toys and they are promising tighter safety controls on what they export, but the proof is ‘in the pudding’. This year U.S. inspectors have banned or turned away a growing number of Chinese exports including wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine, which has been blamed for dog and cat deaths in North America. And, Monkfish containing life-threatening levels of toxins were discovered. Further, drug-laced frozen eel, and juice made with unsafe color additives have been banned in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ceased all imports of Chinese toothpaste too to test for a deadly chemical reportedly found in tubes sold in Australia, the Dominican Republic and Panama.
Even little girls who love to play dress up have been affected by the recall of children’s jewelry made in China. A high level of lead present in the American Girl jewelry line has forced the recall of all of its jewelry sets for little girls. The sets are characterized by a red and white coloring mounted on a cardboard backing and included necklaces, bracelets, earrings and hair accessories. The words “American Girl” and “Made in China” are featured on the package.
Maybe it is just time we start looking for those “Made in the U.S.A.” tags!
Have a safe Halloween and remember to check your trick-or-treaters’ bags for harmful candy or objects. If you know that a certain candy or product is defective, discard it right away.
By Carol J. Gibbons, J.D.