When 4-year-old Dakarai Vieyra was made to hand over his prized Iron Man toy, he wept bitterly. When Caroline Cox of the Center for Environmental Health determined that Iron Man was lead-free, Vieyra was all smiles. He probably doesn't know the difference between Fe and Pb -- he just wanted his toy back.
Rep. Jackie Speier and Cox this weekend tested about 40 toys, including Vieyra's Iron Man, for lead content. Everything came out just fine. But some mugs and glasses the Congresswoman brought in turned out to be far from unleaded.
Speier (D-San Francisco) became Capitol Hill's No. 1 anti-heavy metals legislator over the summer, when an anonymous tipster informed her office that Shrek glasses being hawked by McDonald's were oozing with cadmium
The Congresswoman is currently pushing the Toxic Metals Protection Act
, which would expand the scope of children's products tested for lead, cadmium, etc. beyond toys to items designed to be used by children.
Katrina Rill, Speier's district press secretary, noted that the paint on the Congresswoman's Coca-Cola glasses was the source of lead, as was the glaze on her coffee cup.
(Yes, it turns out that drinking out of an "old fruit jar" -- as Carl Perkins
and, later, Elvis
said we could do to with their liquor -- may yet be your best way of avoiding toxins. From metals at least.)
Those who wish for the Center for Environmental Health to test their toys, Coca-Cola glasses, mugs, or old fruit jars should call (510) 655-3900 for a free appointment.
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