Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CPSIA - Car Seat Lead Poisoning Hoo-hah

Perhaps you heard that there have been six cases of lead poisoning by car seats in Maine. Sounds ridiculous, right? What's the truth?

Of course, car seats are not poisonous. That's absurd. Medical reporting on this topic makes clear that the problem is dust off the clothing of the parents. Delving further, the CDC also poo-poo's the notion that the cause is anything other than occupational dust on the parents' clothing which settled into their cars and elsewhere, and was then being breathed in or ingested by their children. Lead paint dust is a problem. EVERYONE agrees on that one.

Doesn't this beg the big question - how did the parents get soaked with lead paint dust? Isn't lead paint banned? Aren't we SAFE yet?! AYYYY! Well . . . apparently, the parents worked in painting and paint removal, and one was a self-employed metal recycler. My money says these people were working with cars. Cars? Have you ever read the lead paint ban in the FHSA? It has a few Congressionally-authorized holes. See Section 1303.1(b), for instance: "Paints and coatings for motor vehicles and boats are not included within the scope of the ban because they are outside the statutory definition of 'consumer product'.” If you strip and repaint cars all day, you might be coated with lead paint dust.

Yes, Elizabeth, the car in your garage is a rolling salt lick of lead paint. And your caring Congress is delighted for you to own it and use it for your kids. They made a big deal about banning lead paint and lead-in-substrate in toys and other children's products and in another Bush era "Mission Accomplished" moment, patted themselves on the back for "solving" the childhood lead poisoning problem. Of course, anyone who knew anything about lead paint knew this was baloney. The principal sources of lead poisoning is lead paint from houses (in this case, cars also), lead in the air (from smelters) and lead in water (from dust settling from the air or from dust from house paint). None of this is affected by the CPSIA whatsoever. Toys aren't the problem and never have been. As for other children's products, like bikes, pens, ATVs, t-shirts . . . please don't insult my intelligence.

So if you're worried about a "toxic" car seat, call your Congressman and thank him for making it possible to still have lead poisoning in your home. They'll thank you for your call, and then forget all about it.

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