The Wall Street Journal Health Blog asks a Mayo Clinic environmental health specialist to explain why lead paint shouldn’t be used for children’s toys, and what the risks are:
So what are the risks for a child who had one of the toys that was recalled?
Parents need to keep things in perspective in terms of clinical risk. Simply having this single toy in the home does not pose an acute medical risk to the child, even if the child was to have ingested one small paint chip. But it is vitally important that all lead exposures are removed from any child’s world as soon as possible.
If a parent is aware of a tainted toy that has been in their home, and the child has been playing with it, and the child is known to have pica or some sort of developmental delay where they put things in their mouth a lot, those would be a subset of children that should be seen by their physician and a blood lead test considered
Childhood exposure to lead has been shown to cause cognitive and developmental abnormalities such as learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.