So apparently it is still acceptable to use lead in children’s toys, just as it’s acceptable to use lead in women’s cosmetics. Because children rarely put toys in their mouths, and women rarely put lipstick on their lips. Or so the logic would go.
I learned this unexpected lesson recently when, in a rush, I let pragmatism trump principle, and bought a birthday present from Toys ‘R Us, rather than a responsibly-stocked local store.
It looked benign enough, with bright colored packaging and cheery font: Totally Me! Stylin’ Bead Boutique screamed FUN!!! in a 6 year-old girl sort of way. I imagined stubby fingers maneuvering the metal and plastic beads over loops of twine which would later adorn necks and wrists; I imagined pride at being able to create and then display the final product.
But I didn’t imagine this: “Contains lead. May be harmful if eaten or chewed. May generate dust containing lead.”