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Lead Found in Bibs Sold in United States

According to reports by the Center for Environmental Health, the New York Times, and the Canadian Broadcasting Association, baby bibs imported from China and available for purchase at Toys 'R' Us stores in the United States contain high levels of lead.

According to test results by the Center for Environmental Health, the vinyl bibs in question contain up to three times the amount of lead that is allowed in paint.

The potentially dangerous bibs are also sold at Babies 'R' Us stores; they feature soccer balls, baseball bats, and Disney's Winnie the Pooh characters. The bibs are imported from China by Hamco Baby Products and sold in the States under various labels, including "Especially for Baby" and "Koala Baby." It appears that the affected bibs are not available for purchase outside the United States.

According to the New York Times, Toys 'R' Us claims that lab tests that were conducted this past May found that the bibs in question complied with safety standards. Representatives from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicated to the Times that their lab tests found that the amount of lead in the bibs is not high enough to give a dangerous dose to a child that chews or rubs one.

"The bibs would only pose a risk if ripped or if the vinyl were cracked," officials at the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

Lead can get into vinyl in the following ways:

  • Through dyes
  • Through recycled vinyl which may have contained lead
  • As an inexpensive stabilizer

The Center for Environmental Health is calling for Toys 'R' Us to take these bibs off their shelves immediately.

Parents are encouraged to test their children's bibs with an inexpensive lead testing kit that is readily available in most hardware stores. Metal jewelry and other children's products made with vinyl should also be tested for lead.

Unborn babies, infants, and young children are especially at risk because exposure to even small amounts can lead to permanent damage. Lead can be absorbed through the placenta and breast milk.

The most common symptoms of gradual, long term lead poisoning are as follows:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Anemia
  • Mental impairment
  • Hearing problems
  • Stunted growth
  • Hyperactivity

Short-term exposure to high levels of lead can result in diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, coma, and even death.

For more information on lead poisoning, including specific steps that can be taken to prevent and address lead poisoning, view the following article:

Ways to Prevent Lead Poisoning

Please share this article with expectant parents and parents of young children in your life. Thank you.


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I sometimes wonder how my generation ever managed to live through childhood. (1940's and 50's.) We had lead paint on our cribs AND the walls.OMG! We did not have computers, TVs just came on the scene in the 50's. We actually visited with friends when they came over. We played games with each other, not alone, and talked and laughed! Monopoly, hide and seek, used the swings that we had in the yard.
We rode bicycles without helmets. Roller skated on the sidewalks without knee pads and helmets and elbow pads, and body armor. Climbed trees. If it was hot out we sat in the shade and drank home made iced tea or lemonade made from real lemons! And talked to each other some more. Air conditioning??? What's that?
We got spanked when we did wrong, teachers had some authority in schools so we actually got to learn something. we actually got to feel disappointed if we did not get picked for something. Maybe even got our feelings hurt...geesh, how did we ever make it!
I think we are now raising a nation of wosses. What scares me is what will the president of the USA be like in 20 years???? I'll get off my soap box now. Love your news letter, Ben. Great job! Alice Harper

Dear Alice Harper:
1.) Your reply did not address the issue of lead in Babies' bibs yet was posted anyway. (????)
2.)You wrote: "...and drank home made iced tea or lemonade made from real lemons!"
Yes, and some of us chewed on paint with REAL LEAD in it! Lead, like lemons is natural after all.
You also wrote: "I think we are now raising a nation of wosses. What scares me is what will the president of the USA be like in 20 years????"
What scares me is what the President of the USA will be like (another Bush?) if he or she suffered from lead poisoning as an infant because his or her parents were uninformed OR informed and may have thought "Well, back in the good ol' days, my parents didn't know about lead in bibs, and I turned out OK. In fact, it created strength in me. Thank God I'm not a woss. Damned if I want to raise a woss in my baby."
As implied, how can subjecting a baby to a lead bib be any safeguard against that child becoming a "woss". (My kids tell me that means "Wimp".) Lead in bibs is not like getting a communicable disease which may result in a strengthened immune system. (Ask Dr. Kim.) It is not going to help a child become less or un-wossey. It is not OK, now that we are no longer ignorant, to subject a baby to a bib with lead in it.

> Please share this news story with relevant
> contacts in your life. Thank you. [Dr. Kim]
Dear Dr. Kim: Thank Y O U for sharing this news story.
I shared it with my contacts and would like to further share
a reply I received. (It is verbatim except that I have removed identifiying information for netiquette reasons.)

Dear Nancy:
Read [my daughter's appended] note. She was most appreciative of
the information.
As editor of "Health" for the magazine "XXX XXX" she is usually up on health notices but she obviously missed this one.
[The Mom]

-----Original Message-----
From: [Daughter]
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:17 PM
To: [Her Mom]
Subject: Re: FW: Lead Bibs (?)

Wow! Thanks for sending!!! I hadn't heard about
this before, and we did have one of those bibs. I just
threw it away. The article said it doesn't pose a risk
unless the vinyl is cracked and the vinyl on our
bib was not cracked, so I'm assuming we're okay.
Also, [Baby] hasn't worn that bib in a very long
time...thanks again for passing that along.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nancy
> Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:48 PM
> To:
> Subject: Lead Bibs (?)
> FYI In case you want to forward onto
your daughters. Love, Nancy

> On a different note, if you know any pregnant
> women or parents with young children, please
know that recent testing by the Center for Environmental
> Health has found that some bibs sold in the United
States contain lead. For full details on this news
story,please view:
> ""
> \n
> Please share this news story with relevant
> contacts in your life. Thank you.

While I agree with some things you say, Ms. Harper, you have not addressed the lead issue reasonably. The fact is, alot of people have been subjected to extremely unhealthy lifestyles, yet were able to overcome those obstacles. Some have not. Right now in the U.S., there are an unprecedented number of people with serious debilitating disease. How many people do you know who are battling with or have recently died from cancer, heart disease, stroke? These are diseases that don't even effect people groups in non-industrial countries that live in tribes with minimal outside contact. But in America, you are pretty much expected to die from one of these, or complications from surgery, or a hospital acquired infection, that is, if you survived prenatally to even be born. Now, what bothers me about this article is that there are a number of alarming comments, none including any actual documented objective how much lead (what is the number), what is considered toxic?. There was a comment about 3 times the amount of lead allowed in paint. Paint is no longer toxic because of lead. Paint is toxic because of other chemicals. Was that supposed to illicit some sort of alarmed response? Why was Toy's R Us mentioned? Wal-Mart, Target, the Dollar Tree, the 99 cent store, and most grocery stores carry the same bibs. Additionally, anyone have a vinyl tablecloth, made in China? Is it cracked? Why hasn't Dr. Kim pointed out the level of lead in those either? It almost seems as though someone is putting pressure on a particular retail chain with a questionable and subjective argument that has not been fairly, accurately, and informatively written. I am a 27 year old mom of 5, and I happen to know that if I think something is putting my baby in danger, I'm going to spring into action. But I also know that most products carried at lower end retail or discount stores, that come from China are generally processed in a way that is harmful to humans. They get away with it by saying 'wash before use' theoretically, washing most of these products gets rid of enough of the toxins to pass muster. Additionally, there are so many more things that pose a clear and imminent danger to children and families in America, such as abortion, vaccinations, toxic dental care, mood suppression drugs, day care, public school, and unplanned unparenthood, I really don't see why these real issues are being suppressed and we are being so concerned over 'toy's r us' plans to slowly poison our children with cheap products. I would not be surprised if the bibs did have a level of lead that was unacceptable to me, but Dr. Kim's article certainly doesn't have me convinced. Perhaps a little more substance and a little less hype would do the trick.

Nobody wants to raise a nation of wusses. But at the same time if there is something in our environment that is causing problems and we can prevent those problems, we must do so. I was born it the 50's and every neighborhood I ever lived in had a least one family that had to cared for full time for one reason or another. There seemed to be some sort of shame or embarrassment connected with him/her. Everyone knew about it and helped whenever the family needed help. And I don't think we had to worry about lead in the bibs. But one thing I do know is that our parents passed things back and forth to one another. They patched and repaired them as needed until they fell apart. Some things I can think of went through as many as 7 children, maybe more. Today when we are finished using something or it is need of repair many people just toss it in the garbage. You can always run up to Toys'rUs or Walmart and buy a new one if you need to. Yes, there is lot of good to say about the ways of the past. Growing your own vegetables, playing outside, talking face to face with your friends, knowing your neighbors, family meals at the dining room table, reading a good book, going to sleep when the sun goes down and getting up when it comes up are all great. But at the some time if there was something that was a danger and people knew about it, they took care of it. We should too.