Local News

Morrisville Company Offers Free Lead Testing for Toys

Posted December 15, 2007
Updated May 30, 2014

— Massive recalls in recent months are fueling concern about lead-tainted toys. As a result of this potential threat, an environmental testing agency in Research Triangle Park provided free toy screenings Saturday.

Sharon Rittman was one of the many parents who came out to the screenings at 2101 Gateway Centre in Morrisville.

“He plays with quite a few [toys], sometimes he puts some in his mouth, not thinking,” Rittman said.

A licensed inspector detected lead on a toy train Rittman brought in for the screenings provided by the EI Group.

The EI staff screened toys with NITON X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrum Analyzers (XRF). The method is a fast and effective screening tool that doesn't damage toys, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

About one in 10 toys tested positive for lead, but most levels were within acceptable limits.

In the past few months, companies have recalled more than 22 million toys because they contained unusually high levels of lead, which can cause brain damage or even death if children ingest it.

“Just because they have lead in a toy, does not mean the children have an elevated blood lead level,” said Greg Lathan, president of the EI Group.

The only way to find out if children have elevated lead levels is through a blood test, which the EI Group also offered for free.

The federal government recommends that all children have their blood tested for lead at the ages of 1 and 2 with a simple heel or finger stick.

This was the first time the EI Group offered the free toy screenings, but Lathan said the company plans to hold the event annually.


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  • davido Dec 17, 2007

    I have decided to offer all of my products with EXTRA lead this year, because you know... lead: it's not just for breakfast anymore! ;-) Lead: it's whats fer dinner. Lead: the other white meat.

  • veekee Dec 15, 2007

    80 percent of toys sold in the US are made in China. If we stopped selling these toys, there would be many negative repercussions. It would cause a spike in demand which would lead to a black market, which in turn would lead to even more inferior products coming into the hands of American children.

    Only 1 tenth of 1 percent of the Chinese made toys on the market have been the subject of recent recall. Don't buy into the media hype. I have several of the toys that were recalled and I just threw them away. We all grew up with lead in our environment. Get your children's blood tested for lead like as per the recommendations, and if then quit freaking out over nothing.

    Personally, I think we should be more worried about China's long history of civil rights violations.

  • Hip-Shot Dec 15, 2007

    If you boycott all the items made in 3rd world countries these days, including China, you'll do without almost everything. There is very little manufactured in the US today. You can thank your elected officials over the years for this trend: don't blame a particular party for it because both promoted it. In their efforts to grow a world-wide economy and promote free-trade, they have sold out the American factory worker. Furthermore, the quality, or lack thereof, is exhibited in these goods being recalled for toxicidity.

    Ladyblue, I agree with you in many ways. I was born in 1961 and most of my toys, such as trucks and cars were made of steel and aluminum, not plastic, and the paint on them I'm sure contained lead, far more than in these toys recalled. I have fond memories of those toys, such as a tin P-47 Thunderbolt that I fell in love with at the Rose's store in Ahoskie, and a toy Texaco tanker truck made of stamped steel, with shiny red paint on it.

  • JBunny Dec 15, 2007

    Stop buying stuff at WalMart. They are the #1 importer of Chinese goods. If enough people stop shopping there, they'll have to rethink their practices.

  • howdiditgettothis Dec 15, 2007

    great job to this company for providing this public service free of charge. holiday spirit abounds.

    jeers to china for sending toxic items to our country, and jeers to our country for letting them!

    we need to send the message LOUD and STRONG that we won't tolerate this. our country needs to boycott china.
    yes, walmart might shut down for a few months, but it won't be the end of the world.

  • ladyblue Dec 15, 2007

    Glad this company is screening their toys for free. Please let me ask a question and see what folks think. Years ago we all grew up with lead and more than they are talking about in these toys. Lots of toys were made out of metal including lead , tin and alumium and I grew up chewing(teething) on the window sills and etc and I know there was lead everywhere, but the children didn't grow up with all these defects that they speak of in learning disabilities. Why is that? What changed that all of a sudden it became such an serious issue. No need to say that the people before all the lead scare came out were dumb because that is not true.

  • dcatz Dec 15, 2007

    Actually, the majority of your computer components come from Taiwan, Japan or the US. If you consider Taiwan to be part of the People's Republic of China, then I guess you could say the parts are Chinese. I don't.

    Taiwan is pretty much the leading nation as far as semiconductor fabrication goes. Semiconductor fabrication facilities cost billions of dollars to create and then become obsolete within a few years so more and more companies are turning to companies who's sole business is making semiconductors to produce their designs rather than doing it themselves.

    The largest such company is TSMC, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, and chances are, every one of you has a computer with at least one component fabricated by TSMC.

  • Mom of two Dec 15, 2007

    Good for this company. It is sad that you have to be careful what toys we buy our children. Something more needs to be done abbout this lead.

  • smitty Dec 15, 2007

    Good luck not buying anything made in China. That computer you are using right now probably has lots of Chinese components.

  • nerdlywehunt Dec 15, 2007

    Well why didn't we get the info early enough to get out there. This is the first I have heard of it.