California Says Some Bouncy Castles Have Too Much Lead In Them

California’s Attorney General, Jerry Brown, has filed a lawsuit that claims too many inflatable structures used at kids’ parties come with high levels of lead in the vinyl–“sometimes dozens of times the federal limit,” reports the New York Times. One of the defendants said the lawsuit was a “witch hunt,” and warned that it would have a chilling effect on what the Times calls the “bounce-house industry.”

“Suit Sees Lead Risk in Bounce Houses” [New York Times] (Thanks to Tom!)


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  1. Daverson says:

    They’re worried about lead in the vinyl? How the hell is that dangerous?

    California is one fucked-up state.

    • scratchie says:

      The lead in the vinyl can be transferred to the kids’ hands, feet, etc., from coming in contact with the vinyl. Same reason they tell you to wash your hands after handling electrical wires (e.g. Christmas lights). You’re welcome.

    • mythago says:

      I know, it’s like we give a shit about people instead of assuming that it’s OK to kill ’em all and let the free market sort ’em out.

      • Conformist138 says:

        Ok, calm down. Like many pointed out- this will *kill* NO ONE. None, not a single child will die as a result of lead in the vinyl of a bouncy house. Most kids use them a few hours each year, total? If that, even? Sure, I see the concern, but don’t fly into a panic about how no one cares and will let kids die.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Where the heck have you studied the dangers of lead in products?

      What a fucked-up comment.

      • Daverson says:

        The actual exposure levels from a kid using a bounce house for a few hours a year are negligible. This lawsuit is typical feel-good bullshit from a state known for it’s nanny-state mentality.

        • mythago says:

          Who cares about the facts – blah blah nanny state blah kids today blah blah.

          • redhouse387 says:

            Why are you freaking out about this? Did your kid get lead poisoning from a bounce house? Or are you just having a bad day?

    • mrhappydude says:

      the cdc reports of only exposure of this kinds relates to lead dust on vinyl mini blinds, so there is no precedent for this

      they are at the end of the list

  2. wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

    THEY’RE BOUNCY CASTLES. You can’t take the fun out of kids’ parties (and in my personal situation, my wedding) and limit bouncy castles! Come on, California. Quit sucking.

    • Tim in Wyoming says:

      Really at your wedding? Do tell, this seems interesting. Not that my g/f would allow it… but I am curious.

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        I truly hope it is an adult sized bouncy castle. Watching the wedding party flying around would be pretty awesome in theory. In reality, you would probably end up with a black-eyed bride or something!

        For the kids, a good way to help the little ones actually enjoy the wedding and party for once!

      • wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

        We had a crap-ton of kids at our wedding. It was a good way to corral them. But also, there were pictures in full wedding attire in the bouncy castle. Apparently, it was blown up after we left and used again by the adults. Best idea ever, and my groom was the envy of all his friends who asked for one but didn’t get it.

        As for reading comprehension… people obviously have a broken “joke” meter. And in the same breath… it’s a fucking bouncy castle. It’s going to be nasty anyway, so just wash up afterward. Seriously. Quit thinking everything is going to kill the kiddies.

    • mythago says:

      I think all that bouncing may have impacted your reading comprehension.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Here’s what Scratchie said just above:

      “The lead in the vinyl can be transferred to the kids’ hands, feet, etc., from coming in contact with the vinyl. Same reason they tell you to wash your hands after handling electrical wires (e.g. Christmas lights). You’re welcome. “

      Learn a little about a topic before just spewing out comments about it.

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      “Come on, California. Quit sucking.”

      I believe you may want to substitute sucking with licking.

  3. c!tizen says:

    California has always been anal about the amount of lead in it’s bouncing plastic products; think of all the actresses!

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    Lead gives “bouncy house” vinyl the stiffness yet pliability that is needed to absorb the adoscent shocks that it will be subjected to. On another note, with lead trading around 93 cents per pound, we are lucky that retailers have not charges us extra for this newly discovered bonus feature.

  5. chaesar says:

    sometimes I think my lead doesn’t have enough bouncy castle in it

  6. pantheonoutcast says:

    Welcome to California. No smoking, no talking, no trans-fats, no happy meals, no alcoholic energy drinks, no puppies, no carnival rides…

    Oh, you want some marijuana? We’re working on it…

    • mythago says:

      Oh, I don’t know, we also have a crappy educational system where bad teachers keep their jobs. You might want to reconsider.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Oh, right. Humorless, self-righteous assholes are plentiful as well. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Consumeristing says:

      Haters! Fine everything in California sucks, but Prop. 13 is the world’s best rent control. It’s so progressive, no one else has tried it.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Yeah – how messed up is this! They want to keep kids safer from brain damage! The horror!

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        If your kid spends his five-minute turn in the bouncy castle licking the floors, guess what? He already has brain damage.

    • varro says:

      But the marijuana (like everything else there) must be labeled, “This contains substances known to the State of California to cause cancer.”

    • kajillion123 says:

      no lead, no flipper babys. . .

  7. rpm773 says:

    Today, the adults take away the kids’ happy meals and jumpy castles.

    Tomorrow, when the kids are old enough to vote, they’ll take away the adults’ Medicare and Social Security.

    Circle of life.

  8. SabreDC says:

    No wonder California is in terrible fiscal shape, they keep spending all their money filing these types of lawsuits. Gov, better break out the IOUs for the state employees again.

    • scratchie says:

      Yes, exactly. It’s the cost of these lawsuits. You must be some kind of financial genius.

      • SabreDC says:

        Ok, let’s do some simple math. Let’s say the cost of these lawsuits is $X. Your state has $Y. If you file these lawsuits, you now have $Y-$X. If you don’t, you have $Y. $Y > $Y-$X.

        It does not take a financial genius to figure out that spending money on something that is not necessary causes you to lose money that can be better spent elsewhere. Especially in a state that has no money.

        Maybe I can explain it to you in “everyday” terms. You have a bank account with $1,000 in it. You buy a new TV for $800. Does it take a financial genius to figure out that if you didn’t buy that TV, you’d have $800 more than you will if you do purchase the new TV?

        • scratchie says:

          Gosh, that was very informative. Now, why don’t you provide some actual, real life figures about the cost of this one lawsuit as a percentage of California’s budget deficit, instead of just making a bunch of numbers up?

          • SabreDC says:

            Geez, you’re a pain in the ass. Where did I make numbers up? I explicitly used “X” and “Y” to denote the abstract concept of “Y > Y-X”. Are you honestly suggesting that an entity (in this case, the State of California) would not have more money if it didn’t spend money?

  9. Jennifer says:

    What about all the kids who die at birthday parties after eating the bouncy castles? Why won’t anyone think of the children?

    Also, bouncy castles remind me of clowns, and everyone knows that clowns are evil.

  10. Jennifer says:

    What about all the kids who die at birthday parties after eating the bouncy castles? Why won’t anyone think of the children?

    Also, bouncy castles remind me of clowns, and everyone knows that clowns are evil.

  11. Wang_Chung_Tonight says:

    looks at bottom

    *made in china*

    uh huh….

    so china sells us tons of lethal defective items and then loans us our money back when we need it.

    they HAVE to be laughing it up over there

  12. mythago says:

    I know that Glass Pops commercial (making fun of cigarette ads) was a parody, but I swear that if it were run here straight, there would be commenters shrieking about how they loved Glass Pops as a kid and THEY never had their mouths sliced open by broken glass so how dare the haters deprive a generation of children of their fun.

    People: the lawsuit is not about banning bounce houses.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      But it’s such fun to defend companies being able to make profits from their cheap bouncy castles in this post and then in other posts complain about stupid kids. Because there’s no correlation between children ingesting lead and having less smarts, you know.


  13. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Great…we will now fall into an economic depression because of the failing “bounce-house industry”. If only children would stop licking everything…and…eating the bounce-house…we would have been fine.

  14. Promethean Sky says:

    They’re worried about the lead in the vinyl, but no one mentions the health risks of vinyl itself. Way to overlook the obvious.

    Next thing you know I won’t be able to get mercury in my tooth fillings. (Dead serious, I want it there, amalgam is a safe and superior substance.)

  15. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    How serious a heath threat could this possibly be? What, are kids out there licking their bounce houses every day? How much bounce house consumption does the average kid experience? A couple of hours, a few times a year?

    The dose makes the poison.

  16. brinks says:

    Can someone just give me a quick list of what DOESN’T contain lead?

  17. BadgerPudding says:

    Too much? You mean, more than none?

  18. 44Wadeable says:

    This picture is perfect!

  19. stevgex says:

    Because California has done such a great job at balancing the budget and getting us out of debt, they have time for things like this. /sarcasm
    Last year, they attempted to ban helium balloons.

  20. Erika says:

    If corporations won’t do anything to protect kids from exposure to lead, then we only have the government to do it for us. If the government won’t protect us, then who will? I would much rather have a nanny-state government that alerts us to the problems in our environment and in the products we buy rather than finding out later after I’ve been poisoned to death by my bouncy castle house.

  21. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    First they came for the Happy Meals…

    Some people’s asses have too much lead in them to make a bouncy castle work. Namely, mine.

  22. invisibelle says:

    It’s interesting to me how few people know how dangerous bounce houses are… Among folks who follow amusement ride safety (yeah I know I’m a freak), they’re sort of thought of as death traps, because kids suffocate in them or, more commonly, a gust of wind blows them over/away still full of kids.

    Lead in the vinyl is really not a huge worry compared to those issues.

  23. JonBoy470 says:

    Really? If they really need to be anal, slap a Prop 65 warning on the side of it and be done with it. Why do they need to take away yet another fun thing for kids to do? It’s like playgrounds. They’re way lamer today than they were when I was a kid. They don’t even have swings half the time, let alone see-saws.