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Halloween Just Got a Little Scarier

Lead. If you’re into chemistry, you might know it as Pb or atomic number 82 on the periodic table. When ingested in high levels by humans, it can cause neurological problems, gastrointestinal problems, kidney problems, and even reproductive problems. In extreme cases, it can even cause death and is particularly dangerous to children.

According to Wilkipedia, lead is commonly found in things like?‚? car batteries, coolant, paint (prior to 1978), high voltage power cables, and roofing material. Not really things that your child will be playing with, right? So I guess we can all heave a huge old sigh of relief and move on, right?

Wrong.

It seems like every time I turn around,?‚? I’m hearing about yet another?‚? seemingly innocuous?‚? item that contains lead. Your artificial christmas tree? Full of it.?‚? ?‚? The plastic?‚? Halloween costumes?‚? for sale at stores nationwide??‚? Lead, baby.?‚? The candy that our neighbors could be handing out for Halloween? Mmmm, yummy lead. The lunch bags we’ve been using for the past five years…uh, lead sandwiches anyone??‚? The toy jewelry that your child got from a vending machine and that cute little?‚? bracelet you bought your daughter at the Disney?‚? Store??‚? Yep, you guessed it – lead and more lead.

I could go on, but I won’t. You get the picture.

What I want to know is: what the heck is going on? You’d think that since we know that lead is poisonous, that at the very least, we wouldn’t find it our children’s toys.

I guess we can find some solace in the fact that in some states, like California, business are required to provide warnings when a product is known to contain toxic chemicals. That is, unless there is no such law in your state. In which case, some people apparently feel free to ignore the public health risk just so they can sell their products, as reported in this news story:

California law requires businesses to provide warnings when they expose the public to hazardous chemicals, like lead. But that’s not the case everywhere. Some costumes found in California are being sold in other states with the warning labels blacked out.

Blacked out, people. The?‚? labels warning us that?‚? our children’s Halloween costumes contain toxic levels of lead are being blacked out.

What is this world coming to?

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