Leadly Poisonous Toys R' Us Bibs; No Fed Recall Yet

Toys R’ Us bibs test high for lead, three times the normal allowable level. Beware “Winni’ the Pooh” “Koala Baby” and “Especially for Baby” brand bibs. Unlike previous recalls, it’s not the paint that’s full of lead. The vinyl on the bibs themselves contain lead compounds.

Feds have yet to recall… hm… what other lead-stoked products are lurking out there? Is this merely the tip of the iceberg, which is of course, made of lead and imported from China?

Still for sale: Bibs with lead [CNN Money] (Thanks to Kevin!)


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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Why is there paint on a bib at all?

  2. Lead in a bib? WTF?!?! How does that even happen? How does that happen without it being on purpose?


  3. erica.blog says:

    Unlike previous recalls, it’s not the paint that’s full of lead. The vinyl on the bibs themselves contain lead compounds.

    It is possible to get lead-free bibs. It’s called “fabric”.

  4. keylight says:

    Okay, will this be another “poison China train story?”

    At some point, I hope people start to realize the real problem here is with corporate greed. The best way to maximize profits is to minimize costs. This means using cheap labor, cheap materials, cheap, cheap, cheap.

    Really, is it any surprise that companies in China cut corners left and right to get things made cheaply? It’s what American corporations have been doing to their employees and customers for years.

  5. juri squared says:

    @erica.blog: You’d be surprised; a lot of fabric bibs have a vinyl lining between the fabric layers.

  6. zsouthboy says:

    Holy FUCK!

    On freaking BIBS?

    As in, things that are likely to end up in a baby’s mouth?!

  7. ChrisC1234 says:

    I really like how these bibs have “three times the normal allowable level” of lead. I don’t understand why there is ANY normal allowable level of lead in a product like this. WHAT do they need lead in them for??? I’d rather more bland colors than lead in my child’s bib.

  8. philipbarrett says:

    US manufacturers pressuring their Chinese suppliers to make it cheaper & faster? Then they can all hand wring & finger point when the goods are substandard or dangerous?

    Would US companies do this really?

  9. Anitra says:

    @philipbarrett: “Would US companies do this really?”

    If they think they can get away with it, they do.

  10. @ChrisC1234: “I don’t understand why there is ANY normal allowable level of lead in a product like this. WHAT do they need lead in them for???”

    There’s such a level of ambient lead in the environment that I expect it’s at least partly to allow for that.

    (If you want to freak yourself out, have your shoes and carpets tested … the amount of lead you pick up walking around outside — typically from vehicle emissions/detrius/whatev — and track into your house is appalling.)

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    China: exporting our “one child per family” to the world, one toy and bib at a time.

    PS: I strongly doubt any non-Chinese company would be okay with this, esp those in the West. While there might be a smidgen of yearning for the $.000125 saved per article, they’re humane – and smart – enough to realize blow-back on something like this would be pyrotechnic beyond their imagining.

    Ban Chinese goods unless they prove each item isn’t toxic or adulterated. And make them pay for testing as a cost of importing to here.

  12. Zagroseckt says:

    ok out of all of this.
    where are the reports of lead poisoning ?? hmm you’d think after all of this we’d of seen one?

    test your lcd lately how about the paint on your pc or fridge? folks lead is a common additive in just about everything…. except lead pincels… those are all graphite now to my knowledge…. weird ant it.

  13. ChrisC1234 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Ok… then that brings up an interesting thought. IF there is a small amount of lead in many things because of the ambient lead in the environment, couldn’t you then hypothesize that there’s going to be more lead in ANYTHING from China than from the US because of more lead released into the environment (because we all know that their environmental laws are lacking, and they’ve trashed their environment more than we have trashed ours).

  14. dearthandsurfeit says:

    Former environmental lead inspector here….

    Lead is sometimes used as an additive in vinyl, especially extruded vinyl. It helps it squirt through the dies smoothly. Back when I was in the business, there was a spate of vinyl mini-blinds (also made in China, I believe) that had plenty o’ lead in them. The problem came when the sun degraded the plastic, creating a fine plumb-o-riffic dust. (The dust, incidentally, is the real problem with lead paint…it’s actually kind of rare for kids or anyone else to literally eat paint.)

    So in these bibs, the lead is nothing to do with paint. It would be in the vinyl itself.

  15. BillyRuben says:

    KEYLIGHT… it is not corporate greed that is the problem. It is your greed, and my greed, and every other persons greed that chooses to buy the cheapest POS products available. Of course companies are going to try and cut costs… which by no means gives them a pass for the kinds of crap we have seen lately… It is US, the consumers, who control the outcome of this situation. If you want lead free products then vote with your wallet, read the label, don’t buy anything made in a country where the product was probably made by lead soaked paint brush wielding child slave laborers (LSPBWCSL), buy something made in or whatever country you live in, support your local bib maker. Whatever it is, stop blaming everyone else.

  16. B says:

    @ChrisC1234: Is China still using leaded gasoline? Because that could explain a lot.

  17. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @BillyRuben: No the real problem is that almost all the manufacturers are making thier stuff in China. I try to not buy anything from China, Vietnam or any other communist country yet invariably I have to cause THATS ALL THERE IS! Give me some more choices here, I want to buy American but its hard to find.

  18. MauriceReeves says:

    Dear China,
    Thanks for all of the swell products you’ve made through the last few years on the cheap. I don’t want you to think we don’t appreciate all you’ve done, but this year, we’re going to have to stop buying anything Chinese-made.

    Problems started early this year when we fed the family dog the food tainted with melamine. He died. My son was devastated most of all. So we broke down and bought him some new Thomas the Tank Engine toys to ease his heartache. Oops! He’s in the hospital with serious lead poisoning. We’re hoping he makes it.

    Of course, he’s in better spirits (when he’s awake and lucid and not vomiting) because his sister’s right next to him with intestinal problems from the magnets that broke off her Barbie dolls that she swallowed. The doctors mentioned that they might be able to put in a partially artificial intenstine from, where else?, China! We’re dubious.

    Especially since last week, on his way to the hospital to visit his grandchildren my father-in-laws truck wrecked because the tires on it were made in China and the tread separated.

    Anyway, that really was the last straw. We’ve decided that if our kids make it through okay and live to see another day, we’ll give them good safe toys like air rifles.

    Factor in the collapse of that bridge under construction and the fire at the tallest building in Shanghai, and we’re pretty clear we can’t trust a damn thing you make anymore.

    All of that considered, best of luck to you and yours.

  19. esqdork says:

    @trai_dep: Help me understand your statement. You state that corporations based in the west are humane whereas Chinese companies are not. What is your belief based on?

    Let’s take the U.S. for example, assuming you are correct, if the government were to eliminate our food, drug and product safety regulations and the administrative agencies charged with their enforcement and apply China’s regulatory structure here, the companies operating in the U.S. would never stoop to make an incremental fast buck at the expense of the public?

    So, western corporations are more humane simply beause they are based in the west? Or is it because western CEOs and Board of Directors are more humane? Or are you saying that caucasians are more humane than the Chinese?

    Don’t kid yourself, the only thing separating Chinese corpoations from U.S. corporations are consumer protection laws and regulations and their enforcement.

    Like most of you, I am disgusted about the unsafe products coming out of China but I am also disgusted by the overt and thinly-veiled racist comments masquerading as consumer outrage.

  20. Myron says:

    We just bought bibs that look like these but with different patterns. We got them at Target. I suspect they are made at the same place and have the same problem. (They are now in the trash)

  21. @Zagroseckt: “where are the reports of lead poisoning ?? hmm you’d think after all of this we’d of seen one?”

    Typically you only see them in local media or statewide health reports. As I live in a leading county in my state for juvenile lead poisoning, I see about one per week in the newspaper, though many are related to aging housing stock rather than dangerous toys. But the toys get in their hits too.

    When I’ve lived in larger cities, generally they’ve only reported the yearly round up. (Even here they don’t report EVERY case, just a sort of constantly drip-drip-drip of them because our lead problem is so serious and needs more public attention.) You should be able to get statistics from your state’s health department or environmental agency. (Or potentially from the local Realtors!)

    @ChrisC1234: I don’t know, and I’m sure some of the minimum level IS to allow mfrs to use processes or products that involve lead.

    @dearthandsurfeit: I lived in an apartment with a set of those blinds and I had to sign an agreement along with my rental contract that I would not LICK THE BLINDS.

  22. Trai_Dep says:

    @esqdork: I’m not saying that US corps are magically more ethical (although some do genuinely try, as part of their competitive advantage). I’m saying that even the amoral ones have learned – thru hard, bitter experience and (yay!) trial lawyers – that shaving pennies to push poisoned products doesn’t pay off in the long run.

    As far as removing regulatory authority, that’s just crazy talk. Of course that’s needed. And (yay!) trial lawyers, class-action status, a critical press, snarky consumer blogs, the whole penumbra of agents swimming about basically making life hell for business (or alternately, making them pay attention to long-term profits over short-term looniness).

    I won’t dignify your suggesting I’m motivated by racism against Asians (?!) beyond a, “Dude…”

  23. bohemian says:

    US companies play a game of suspended reality. What they don’t see for themselves never happened. There is such a blind eye turned to what is going on in manufacturing in China along with pressure on Chinese companies to make it cheaper, cheaper, cheaper.

    This is how you end up with poison toothpaste in 5 star hotels and serious questions about the safety of EVERYTHING you buy.

    I am still trying to figure out how we can have a 100% not made in china holiday this winter.

  24. allthatsevil says:

    @BillyRuben: After the “Chinese Poison Train” really got going, I thought the same thing. Why not just boycott Chinese-made products until we know they’re safe? But that’s virtually impossible. As an expecting mother, I find this particularly frightening. Looking through the drawer of baby clothes/items we have already – pretty much everything says ‘Made in China’ on the tag. I found one thing made in Thailand (which is pretty much the same thing) and one item made in Costa Rica.

    I don’t mind paying more for peace of mind, but where should I go? When shopping, I check the tags and can’t find anything not made in China. I don’t even shop at Wal-Mart, so there’s really no escaping it.

    If there’s going to be a ban or boycott on Chinese-made products, at this point it will have to be done on a corporate level. And considering corporations are generally more greedy than the average person, I really don’t see that happening any time soon.

  25. Trai_Dep says:

    Not all Asian countries are the same. Thailand, Singapore, KL, Cambodia, hopefully Vietnam, aren’t as bad as China. Some of these countries are trying to differenciate themselves apart from China by being better, at a slightly more expensive cost. They’ve seen the writing on the wall and realize the race to the bottom isn’t a sustainable comparative advantage so they’re hoping that China will take itself out of the running. Which it seems to be doing.

    Central American countries as well.

    I’m not saying they’re paragons of virtue, or workers’ paradises, but better.

    It’s really something endemic to China, at least as far as degree and audacity.

  26. allthatsevil says:

    @trai_dep: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to lump an entire continent into one category. The reason I said something from Thailand is pretty much the same is because Thailand is becoming over-run by Chinese government and corporations. Just because something is made in Thailand, doesn’t mean it wasn’t made by a Chinese company.

    At this point, I’m more comfortable putting that Costa Rican outfit on my baby than the Chinese clothes. But what’s a girl to do?

  27. Crazytree says:

    I Chinese
    put lead in bib
    make your baby die in crib

  28. shades_of_blue says:

    wow…this is soo messed up, lead on a vinyl bib, i did not know that was even possible. These repeated lead outbreaks are almost terroristic, can’t lead contamination cause mental retardation in children?

  29. jamar0303 says:

    @B: No, China uses unleaded gasoline/petrol and diesel fuel, like America. Except that Shanghai (where I live) also uses propane/natural gas in their taxis- apparently, it’s better for the environment, but the propane system is dangerous unless installed properly (else if you’re rear-ended you create great pyrotechnics- see the hypocrisy here?) so it’s only approved for taxis right now.

  30. rhombopteryx says:


    Your explanation that western companies are just as greedy, but have been beaten with a clue stick long enough to behave slightly better – it’s got appeal. Heck, it’s probably even right in most cases. Not this one, though: every company in the chain in this story is a U.S. com… Crown Crafts & Hamco – U.S. Wal-mart – U.S. You don’t get more “American” than this. Heck, the parent company of Toys R’ us was founded by a US presidential candidate (Mitt Romney), even.

  31. gtr225 says:

    I’m gonna think twice before I buy anything that’s made in china.