Baby Poisoned By Lead-Tainted Walmart Plates

A Utah child developed painful constipation after it was discovered that her family was using lead-tainted plates sold by Walmart. Investigators found the plates had lead levels of 11. Utah considers anything about 1 “unacceptable.”

The plates were sold under the name “Home Trends,” and while no longer on store shelves, are likely on some the shelves of some consumer’s cupboards. There’s been no recall for the plates.

Toddler Poisoned By Lead Paint From Plates [KUTV]

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  1. Ailu says:

    “her parents was using lead-tainted plates sold by Walmart.”

    Her parents was? oh mai!

    Seriously, though, this lead problem is going viral. It’s just one report after another. Soo sad that big business has come to this, where even the children don’t matter against their almighty dollar.

  2. Oshawapilot says:

    Let me guess.

    “Made in China”?

  3. ChrisC1234 says:

    I really wish they would’ve posted photos of the offending plates. The plates I use came from Walmart 5 years ago.

  4. InsaneNewman says:

    Yes, but on the plus side, these go to eleven.

  5. gotbock says:

    Funny (not funny that a child was poisoned mind you) but lead plates, utensils and water pipes (hence the term “plumbing”) were one of the causes of the fall of the Roman empire due to the psychological effects of constant lead intake. Just strange how history can repeat itself…

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    Walmart lead plates are better because they go up to 11.

  7. TechnoDestructo says:

    Damn.

  8. InsaneNewman says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Ha! I beat you!

  9. DallasDMD says:

    @gotbock: Thats a bit of a crock.

  10. uricmu says:

    @gotbock: Actually, lead cans for canned food is considered one of the reasons for the loss of The Terror and The Erebus as they were looking for the Northwest passage in the 19th century.

  11. theblackdog says:

    Sue Spence, a registered nurse with ‘Lead Safe Kids Program’ says Dr. Jacob, “The right amount to have in your body is zero. But children are particularly at risk because they’re nervous systems are developing.”

    They are nervous systems are developing??

    *headdesk* I think the editor of this article ate lead paint chips as a child.

  12. rhondalicious says:

    The plates are the Home Trend label of the company Gibson. Home Trend is sold at Wal-Mart, the same plates are sold at Target under the Gibson label. They are the glazed ceramic plates…

    I saw the video last night, they tested 8 different plates by Gibson, and 6 or so of them tested positive for lead leaching. The get worse above 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

    And yes, they are from China.

    And the reason this stuck in my mind is because my 3 year old has been suffering from terrible chronic constipation, and the doctor couldn’t find a reason or a relief – today I took my kids in for lead testing today.

    Also, Gibson had no comment, and the guy who was there when the consumer advocate reporter showed up at the company – the Gibson man ran away. And as stated above, no recall has been announced.

    So we took our plates, stuck them in the garage in case we need them for testing later, and we are waiting on our children’s blood work results to come back.

  13. rhondalicious says:

    @theblackdog: This particular article is a summarized transcription of a broadcast, probably done by some intern at the news studio, and not by a professional editor, just FYI.

  14. mconfoy says:

    Preempting idiots. People dumb enough to shop at Walmart should not have children and should not allow them on airlines, in restaurants, in stores, to be uninsured, or spend the time reading Consumerist.com. We can only hope the idiots that say this are smart enough not to have children either.

  15. rockergal says:

    hmm I also want pix of the offending plates. I also have a set from wallyworld from about 3 to 4 years ago

  16. yennta says:

    All my plates come from thrift shops and all are made in USA or made of clear glass. The only US plates that are contaminated (as far as I know) are Bauer ware (Fiesta) plates made in the ’50′s. I believe the red & orange were radioactive. The color was gorgeous.

  17. pengie says:

    I was actually considering a set of plates from Wal-Mart (as a starter set–I’m moving in a month). No longer! I’d like to have my dinner without a side of lead poisoning, thanks.

  18. formergr says:

    From the article: “Chloe didn’t even eat off the plates; after all she was only 9-months-old at the time. So how could she get lead poisoning from them?

    “We asked our doctor and he said because I was breastfeeding and eating off the plates, we were passing it to her through my breast milk,” says Jen.

    That’s what her doctor concluded. And he says it’s even possible Jen may have passed lead to Chloe while pregnant.”

    OK, I’m a little skeptical that the baby’s elevated lead levels were a direct cause of her constipation. I’m also even more skeptical that the mother was able to pass enough lead on to her through her breast milk to really harm the baby. (and by the way, shouldn’t the mom’s lead levels be elevated then since she ate off the plates directly??)

    Obviously some got through since the baby’s blood levels were up, but it doesn’t mean that’s why she was severely constipated (something that happens to millions of babies every day, and some have the issue for months before they grow out of it).

    Obviously the plates should have been recalled, but considering that up until like 30 years ago people were exposed to lead through paint, food receptacles, cans, and about a hundred other ways, and all had much higher blood levels than this baby but still weren’t drooling, incapacitated vegetables, I’ve got to think the body can tolerate significantly more exposure than this baby had.

    Again, I agree that parents should avoid all their child being exposed to *any* lead, but I also don’t think they need to absolutely freak out when the kid is exposed to one lead-painted toy, or in this case breast milk via dishes.

  19. Aladdyn says:

    @formergr:

    wow. Thats a new low in not caring.

  20. mopar_man says:

    @oshawapilot:

    Go into a Wal-Mart and see how many things aren’t made in China.

  21. mopar_man says:

    @formergr:

    Are you a Wal-Mart spokesperson? That sounds like something they would say.

  22. ancientsociety says:

    @formergr: I suggest you read up on how easy it is for mothers to pass on even miniscule amounts of toxins to their unborn (or still breast-feeding) children and how a baby’s mass and relatively weak immune system can be affected by such without having the parents be affected. Certainly do so before you decide to procreate.

    And just because there was more “background” lead exposure 30+ years ago, does NOT justify the same level of exposure today (because, oh I don’t know, science has now figured out that lead is bad for us and all….).

  23. Red_Eye says:

    @formergr: Assuming invitro assimilation of the lead she has been exposed to elevated lead levels for 2+ years. Sure some people can withstand more sunlight than others, some less. Most doctors will tell you ANY lead in an infant is a ticket to potential brain damage. I am not a doctor, but it seems that their fear is ok. Besides until I see conclusive evidence, who is to say all that lead exposure you mention isnt partly to blame for any number of the current moder maladys like Alzheimer’s and dementia and autism? Until there is a conclusive study saying none of those are possibly caused by the lead you cant know and since for the most part lead has been eliminated there inst a lot of money in studying the side effects of lead poisoning.

  24. Dervish says:

    @rockergal: Same here!

    About 4 years ago I was a cash-strapped college student forced into off-campus housing. My mother picked up an el-cheapo dinnerware set from Wal-mart for me since I owned next to no eating utensils. Thankfully, having just gotten hitched, I’m eating off of new dishes now – I’ll have to put the old ones in storage for a while instead of just donating them right away.

  25. North of 49 says:

    I also wish they’d post the offending plates, and any other accessories. We have four bowls from Walmart. If they are part of the same brand, I’m going to have fun smashing them in the bins here. Opa!

  26. vex says:

    We should just go back to making our own stuff from what we can find in our backyard. Thanks to the common use of clay topsoil we’ll have plenty of materials for a kitchen full of pottery.

  27. allthatsevil says:

    @formergr: Just wanted to add to everyone else’s comments – breast-fed babies very rarely have constipation or diarrhea. When they do, it’s usually because of something the mother ate that didn’t agree with the baby…or in this case, because of toxins in the milk.

    There are many things that do not get passed through breast milk, such as E. Coli, but for the most part, breast-feeding mothers have to be careful of everything they ingest. If the baby gets gassy or has an unusual bowel movement the mother should try to figure out what she ate that caused it. (For instance, I found out the hard way that I should not eat sausage and eggs for breakfast unless I want to clean up a nasty diaper and treat really bad diaper rash.) She should not also have to figure out what she at off of.

  28. m0unds says:

    @yennta: The orange plates were indeed pretty– they used uranium in the colorant used in the glaze. A geology professor I had in college had a set of them in a lead-impregnated bag that use used for radioactivity/geiger counter demonstrations. Totally awesome.

  29. rhondalicious says:

    @formergr:
    [www.emedicine.com]

    “The clinical picture associated with lead poisoning is vague. Symptoms are not specific enough to alarm the physician about lead toxicity. Most cases are currently identified through effective screening of the population at risk. However, patients with lead poisoning frequently have constipation, abdominal pain, and/or anorexia.”

    Hello, please don’t diagnose without a medical degree. If your kid won’t eat, and can’t poop, apparently lead poisoning can be a cause. I just wish I’d known earlier!

  30. @North of 49: Go to the website, and watch the video in the right hand column – it’s the part that showed on the news… Gephardt shows a few of the plates they tested.

    [www.kutv.com]

  31. mconfoy says:

    @allthatsevil: Which is why the statement breast feeding babies is always best because you can pass on allergens as we found out. The doctor told my wife she could try and go a month more but would not be able to live comfortably on the required diet since son was allergic to rice, peanuts (that’s everything in the pea family in this case), wheat, eggs, milk and more (fruits and meat were ok at least). You can make your child allergic to food by eating them yourself and then breast feeding. Soy formula is sometimes the best choice.

  32. PontiusPython says:

    For those of you asking for photos – I’ve posted a photo of my plate (that was tested along with a bunch of others here in Salt Lake yesterday for lead) that came up with a 5.4 reading at [i85.photobucket.com]

    Hope that helps. Also, yesterday I asked the individuals who had been testing stuff all day if any particular plates had been shown to be lead free. The only ones that consistently came up lead free were made by Corelle.