Consumer Reports Finds "Troubling" Levels Of Lead In Unrecalled Fisher-Price Toy

Consumer Reports is busy testing lead levels in children’s toys that are not on any recall list just to see if they are safe. They’re nice like that.

Guess what they found? There are still “troubling” levels of lead to be found in toys that are still on store shelves.

Consumer Reports lab tests detected lead at widely varying levels in samples of dishware, jewelry, glue stick caps, vinyl backpacks, children’s ceramic tea sets, and other toys and items not on any federal recall list. Additionally, CR found samples of a Fisher-Price blood pressure cuff that is part of a toy medical kit that had surface lead in worrisome amounts. Consumer Reports advises parents to remove this toy from use.

[Consumer Reports]


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  1. Wow, I had a similar medical kit when I was a kid . . . things are starting to make sense :)

  2. kris in seattle says:

    Goddammit. I’d loved to be shocked and amazed but at this point, fuck it. Give your kids a rock and a stick because they’re safer at this point.

  3. m0unds says:

    Makes me wonder how much lead was in the toys lots of us grew up with in the 80’s.

  4. XianZomby says:

    That Fisher-Price medical kit has for generations been the perfect excuse to play “doctor.” Take that kit away and you’re liable to cause irreparable damage to children’s psycho-sexual development. The minute chance of lead poisoning, or the likelihood your kid’s going to grow up afraid of the opposite sex?

  5. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    I was thinking the same thing.

  6. marsneedsrabbits says:

    So… no, honey you can’t have that really cool Fisher Price whatever-it-is.
    Mommy loves you and doesn’t want to see you poisoned or brain damaged (or worse) so we don’t buy any Mattel or Fisher Price toys at all anymore because back in ’07 we found out that their CEO said that Mattel/Fisher Price *knows* that they are supposed to follow the laws regarding recalls, but they still don’t report every silly old choking hazard or poison toy because they think the law is unfair:
    See: []
    Now, you didn’t want those stinky old Fisher Price toys anyway, did you?
    No, no you didn’t.

  7. ElizabethD says:

    What are we supposed to buy little kids for Christmas this year? Somehow I don’t think “a rock and a stick” (see comment by Marisol, above) will cut it with the preschool contingent. Oy!

  8. Electroqueen says:

    They’re making out children weaker by recalling these toys. Do we want a nation of weaklings?

    Pet rock in a McDonald’s Happy Meal Box I guess…
    Oh wait, they don’t make them anymore…

  9. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    Mama always warned me about playing Doctor.

  10. ErinYay says:

    @ElizabethD: They *do* make toys out of things that aren’t plastic. Non-toxic, non-plastic things, even!

    It’s high time we stop shelling out extra for licensed characters and branding. I mean, do people realize that every Elmo doll you buy is you saying, “I’M OKAY WIT PAYING YOU TO ADVERTISE YOUR PRODUCTS FOR YOU!”? Plus it makes kids into little tyrannical assholes.

    Wood blocks 4eva.

  11. BigNutty says:

    This lead scare is the biggest scam of the year!
    There was lead in all our toys when we were growing up and we somehow managed to survive.

    ATTENTION PARENTS: Supervise your kids and don’t let them eat their toys. There is more harm in the processed food you keep feeding your kids.

    This lead thing is some sort of conspiracy by some guy that does testing of crap in a lab that wants to get even with China. He probably couldn’t understand the instructions on how to put together some crappy toy for his kid.

    His kid called him an idiot (because kids don’t respect their parents anymore) so he hatched this diabolical plan to get revenge on China.

  12. ncboxer says:

    Yes, I too had all this stuff when I was a kid, but I think it was safer then. Nowadays, all the big toy manufacturers outsource everything to the lowest cost factories they can find, in places like China or India. Those factories also outsource toe even lower cost factories. The remote factories don’t have the regulations that we do. When something big happens, the toy companies blame the remote factory. It saddens me to think of all the crap we pass off as great quality.

  13. burgundyyears says:

    @ncboxer: Nah, just back in your day, lead was safe and friendly. Oh and cuts and bruises and hospital visits improved your character.

    Blood lead levels of Americans have decreased dramatically in the last 40 years or so. A quick google search yielded this: []

    A great deal of this doesn’t have anything to do with toys (see: the unleading of gasoline), but routinely soaking houses and children’s toys has certainly fueled its decline.

  14. burgundyyears says:

    @burgundyyears: That last sentence should be STOPPING the routine soaking of houses and children’s toys in lead-based paint has certainly fueled its decline.

  15. tadowguy says:

    WTF: Does China have a freaking lead dunk tank down at the docks? I couldn’t find that much lead if I tried.

  16. Joedel263 says:

    I agree that alot of these recalls could be avoided if the parents actually parented their kids.. their parents lived with lead paint and asbestos, and they’re all still alive. That’s because their parents, ya know.. stopped them from putting things in their mouths and maybe paid attention to what their children were doing.

    A fine example is the recently recalled bumbo chair. I soo wanted the recall poster to say that they were recalling the item because people are morons (just in case.. kids were falling out of the chair and getting hurt when it was placed on top of a table. (umm… duh? who puts their kid in a chair on top of anything? well.. nevermind..)

  17. inkvision says:

    When my friend needed to buy toys recently for his nephew and niece, I pointed him to fabulous wooden toys made in Germany. (There are some great Swiss ones, too). You can bet that they are safe. I refuse to buy any children’s toy coming out of China. Too many incidents for my taste, and besides, why not spread all that manufacturing around a bit? Support other countries (including our own!)

    (Always check that the toy was MADE in the country of choice, not just that the company is a German company (for instance)… other countries use China for much of their manufacturing as well.)

  18. jirocpa says:

    Considering the lead based paint chips we all ate as kids, despite all the asbestos shingle and insulation dust we breathed, most of us turned out fine. There’s always a few bad eggs, anyway.
    Weren’t our mothers told that Science could make breast milk better than her own body? Turns out that was a bunch of crap, huh?
    Now we hear that Nalgene leaching gives you brain damage, Soy products will make you homosexual, and Thomas the tank is a lead death toy. All we hear about is that ADHD, ADD & autism are on the rise, but is it our environment or better testing? Is it lower inclusion standards or faster labelling from doctors?
    Everything in moderation.

  19. Comeaja says:

    I honestly don’t think think that some of these lead paint recalls are doing anyone any good, but when it comes right down to it,

    How bloody hard is it to make a toy without lead in it?