Local News

Morrisville Company Offers Free Lead Testing for Toys

Posted December 15, 2007 3:48 p.m. EST
Updated May 30, 2014 5:01 p.m. EDT

— 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.