1.6 Million Cub Scout Badges Contaminated With Lead

A scout may be trustworthy, loyal, and helpful – but not lead free, according to a recent announcement from the Boy Scouts of America. The scouts are recalling 1.6 million Chinese-made badges contaminated with lead paint. The totem badges were issued to 7 and 8-year-old cub scouts who completed certain tasks, “including memorizing the Cub Scouts’ motto, sign, handshake, and salute, and mastering an elective such as caring for a pet, growing a plant indoors, or making a stencil pattern.”

Shields said the Boy Scouts “recently” began testing products made in China and distributed by American suppliers. Out of 94 items, the totem badges were the only products found to have lead in excess of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Lead paint has been banned in the United States since 1978 because of lead’s link to brain and neurological problems, particularly in children’s still-developing systems.

The 1.6 million badges join half a million other Chinese-made products recalled this week due to lead contamination. Parents of affected scouts should get ahold of the badge and keep it away from the cubs.

Cub Scout badges are subject of latest recall [LA Times]
(Photo: AP)

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  1. tadowguy says:

    In 30 years China won’t need to invade us anymore. We’ll be a nation of blithering idiots from kids with lead poisoning and all our dogs will be dead.

  2. This explains soooo much.

  3. Ickypoopy says:

    I have forwarded this article off to a family I know who has children with scouts.

  4. Bay State Darren says:

    They get Merit Badges for “memorizing the Cub Scouts’ motto, sign, handshake, and salute, and mastering an elective such as caring for a pet, growing a plant indoors, or making a stencil pattern”? That’s a very low standard for merit! Maybe after the little kiddies have been crippled by lead poisoning these would be accomplishments.

  5. chandler in hollywood says:

    .
    It would not surprise me if China is re-processing depleted uranium and distributing low grade radioactivity world wide in the stuffing of cheap-high profit plush toys.
    .
    We are paying for the pleasure of being poisoned.

  6. North of 49 says:

    Those were the same standards that were supposed to have been met by the scouts (girl and boy) thirty years ago. The more things you did, the better and the harder it was to get more advanced badges. I left with over 30 in total, and that was just in the first two years. Cooking, tent set up, first aide, foreign language, braiding, troup leader, troup seconder, etc etc etc.

  7. Rusted says:

    @tadowguy: Why should they invade us? They already own us.

  8. girly says:

    Is lead super cheap? Or do they have huge deposits of lead in China?

    How can they afford to put lead in everything?

    I’m not amazed that we do business in China, but I am amazed that we are so lax about standards and there seems to be no thought of national security with where some of the items go.

  9. Trai_Dep says:

    Boy Scouts of America offshores the mfr of their merit badges to China?!

    Surely the $0.10 in savings isn’t worth it? Good job, BSA!

    As bad as the Bush Republican USA flags being manufactured there. Although they didn’t use lead paint for those… Guess they figured the mental incapacity was already, Mission Accomplished, as some are wont to declare.

  10. OnceWasCool says:

    The Boy Scouts are such a great organization. They don’t have the millions that the Girl Scouts rake in every year, yet, they still a great job with the kids.

  11. lockdog says:

    @trai_dep: @Bay State Darren: Those requirements are for Cub Scouts and aren’t for merit badges. We’re talking about roughly 6-10 year olds here. Getting them to sit still is enough of an accomplishment for most of them.

    As for scouts as a whole, it seems to me they kind of lost their soul when they moved HQ from New Jersey to Texas. They went of the right wing of the deep end. A few years back they arrested the chief scout executive in an airport for trying to carry a gun on board. This is a guy who is supposed to work around and be a leader to a national youths organization. They receive tons of funding from the NRA, are blatantly partisan, and rapidly commercializing the organization and abandoning much of the camping and physical fitness focus of the scouts we might remember. I think my eagle badge was made in China, come to think of it.

  12. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @lockdog:
    Yeah, and let’s not forget the homophobia.

  13. shades_of_blue says:

    @lockdog: I thought BSA lost their soul when they first started to create bull**** merit badges like the anti-piracy badge.

  14. humphrmi says:

    @shades_of_blue: They have an ANTI-PIRACY badge? Seriously? Wow. Glad my kids aren’t in it.

  15. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s amazing that they have such an expansive list of badges that RIAA Deputy can make the cut, yet a competitive group masturbation one still hasn’t.

    (still bearing the bitter, bitter scars of merit badges I’d have been entitled to if we lived in a just world)

  16. ElPresidente408 says:

    oh no I had this exact badge when I was in the cub scouts

  17. Beerad says:

    Ummm, unless the scout is working towards the “eating ornamental badges” merit badge then this doesn’t strike me as a huge problem.

  18. MYarms says:

    Great, the Cub Scouts being as super patriotic as they are won’t accept gays into their ranks but will proudly buy their badges from China.

  19. Rachacha says:

    @girly:
    Actually, lead paint covers very well compared with latex/acrylics, and is very durable. This is one of the reasons why lead paint was very suitable as a house paint and was/still is used in street signs.

    I do however have to agree with BEERAD, I do not recall the “Eating ornamental badges” badge in my son’s scout book, and hopefully by the time they reach.