Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yum, yum, home decor

I think we all get the picture. Paint, especially red paint, especially red paint from China, can contain lead. Lead is bad. Lead poisoning is bad. We should avoid it.

However, I'm getting kind of tired of seeing product recalls because of lead paint. The most recent one I saw was for Harry Potter bookends.

Please correct me if I'm wrong in my assumptions here. I thought that people (especially children) got lead poisoning from somehow ingesting (eating, inhaling, inserting?) the lead. Not by sticking it on a shelf and propping up their books with it. Or are kids licking bookends these days? Do we expect the bookends to spontaneously crumble into dust and blow themselves into our childrens' lungs?


In my opinion, any child who would lick a bookend deserves to have them taken away, lead paint or no...

1 comment:

Brian said...

Well, every baby I've ever known has loved to stick things in its mouth, and lead reportedly has a sweet taste. But directly licking the object is really not the major concern.

As lead paint ages and deteriorates, it gives off dust and particles when handled. The lead dust gets on a child's hands and is ingested by hand-to-mouth contact.

One set of bookends is probably no big deal by itself, but if every painted object in your house were allowed to contain lead, that would be a more significant concern.

Of course the worst danger tends to be from home remodeling, when sanding and scraping send large amounts of paint dust all over the place. But the quantity of lead doesn't have to be that great to affect small children.