2/19/09

A little sanity into the LEAD Poisoning panic


I went to my favorite thrift store 2 days ago and was in shock to see they no longer sell toys at all, nothing. For as long as I can remember that was always the best part of going to a thrift store; the cheap toys you can get for your kids. For pennies on the dollar you can make your kids happy and your wallet stays intact. I asked the lady at the desk about this change and she said, "It was because of the lead issue and they could not take the risk."  In my mind I'm screaming, "Oh, come on!  are you kidding!"  

From my experience 99.9% of toys in thrift stores are toys that were sold in toys stores in the U.S.  Perhaps this lead epidemic was considered a real problem the real issue should be addressed at the step of the problem.....like when U.S. purchases cheap toys from China with the help of very low standards.  But to so indiscriminately get rid of and throw away all the toys from stuffed bears all the way down to soccer balls is a very absurd and over-the-top reaction to this issue. 

I searched online to find out if this was going to be a wide ranging change and to my surprise it's an effort made mostly by Goodwill. A Goodwill official states that they have been "working hard to make sure the toys on their shelves are safe for kids." They are removing metal jewelry, toys with lead paint and mini bicycles because they could potentially cause lead poisoning. That is much more understandable, but to obliterate the entire toy section, as my Goodwill did,  is so wasteful and an overreaction to this issue. 

I am writing a letter to my local Goodwill and letting them know I want toys back in my thrift store and to demand they go through the toys in order to prevent lead-filled items from being sold. 

If you are interested in getting a signed and numbered limited-edition print of the above digital collage, go to my Etsy store. 



6 comments:

  1. Miriam, I work for a Goodwill elsewhere in the country and just to let you know, not all Goodwills are stopping selling toys completely, but you need to understand it's a challenge for a nonprofit to determine which items are and which are not containing lead and pthalates -- it's very expensive to test for these things and the CPSC has not given good guidelines to help thrift stores sort through what can and cannot be sold. Instead of blaming your Goodwill and writing to them, you should write to the CPSC and demand they give your Goodwill specific guidelines to help them sell items that are not affected by the law change. Then write to your congressperson and demand they get this law changed so that thrift stores and small businesses can continue to operate while maintaining safety for children.

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  2. Dear Anonymous,
    I agree with everything you said above. I will write those 2 letters as you suggested. Yet, I think we all know teddy bears does not contain lead. I was more reacting to the fact that this was an extreme reaction. I am also a bit puzzled. These are toys that were sold in U.S. Toy stores...Should we not be more concerned about these toys being sold in US toys stores in the first place before we make a blanket approach.....again, I very much appreciate your ideas and will write those letters as you suggested.

    Thank you very much.

    Miriam

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  3. It is no telling what kind of garbage all of us were exposed to as kids and we survived. Well, most of us.

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  4. Mmmm, must be an American thing... we dont have recalls like that.. I use the thrift shops all the time, tis amazing what you can find in there..

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  5. I only shop at thrift stores except for undies and shoes. It reminds me of fishing, when I use to do it.....after a long time...you find a treasure.


    Miriam

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  6. For the a amount we spend on military....we seem to be the most scared people of all nations.

    Miriam

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