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Issue 7
, 2007
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Lead found in branded Indian toys

Anu Jogesh
Source: CNN-IBN, Date: , 2007

Graphic image of lead in toysA Toxics-Link and CNN-IBN investigation has found that branded toys, many claiming to be non-toxic, in fact, contain dangerous amounts of lead. The Special Investigation Team began the probe by randomly buying toys from across various toy stores in Delhi.

These samples were then scientifically tested for lead. The results showed that a staggering 65 percent of the toys tested were contaminated with lead and 14 per cent of the samples were heavily contaminated.

“How much lead is safe? That's been a matter of constant scrutiny WHO has been steadily reducing its safety levels. What this means is that there are no safe levels,” said Ravi Agarwal, Director Toxics Link.

The internationally accepted danger mark for lead in toys is 90 parts per million. But the lab tests conducted on the toys reveal lead content from 190 parts per million to 600 parts per million.

These contaminated toys are not only Chinese, but branded Indian toys available at leading stores across the country. “This shows that even with branded toys in big stores, you are not sure of what you are getting.

Some of the toys you pick up may have high levels of lead,” says Agarwal. There's a more disturbing conclusion. Products like teethers, a segment ball and other rubber toys meant for three-month-old children were found to be the most toxic.

The health implications of this finding are grim. “Our own queries have revealed that no single manufacturer has taken any license from Bureau of Indian Standards.

Toys Companies are not bound by any law,” says Coordinator, Toxics Link, Abhay Kumar. Studies already suggest that prolonged exposure of lead in children can result in anything from lower IQ, learning disabilities to even kidney and liver failure in extreme cases.