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Friday, September 21, 2007

Consumer Alert - Lead Contamination

And what you can do about it.
  1. Contact your Congresscritter to request action;
  2. Contact the California State Department of Health and ask them what steps they have taken to inform parents of the dangers of lead
    • Have they distributed warning information to schools? Which schools?
    • Have they made fliers or leaflets or other materials available to public libraries? Where?
    • Have they set up central locations for collecting the tainted materials?
    • How do they plan to collect and dispose of 356,000 lunch boxes?
  3. Contact the CPSC and let them know what you think of their codswallop;
  4. Contact Representative Henry Waxman and ask him if his committee is planning to hold any hearings on the abysmal failure of the CPSC to do their job.
Contact information for all below.

Here's a link to a very useful article on the dangers of lead in consumer products, including further links to information on products that you can use to test for lead, how to test for lead, and photos of lunch boxes that have tested positive for lead. Highlights:
“Lead is one of those things that need to be taken very seriously,” said Dr. Michael Elliott with McGreevy Clinic Avera. He says contact with lead can seriously affect a person's health.

“The toxicity of lead primarily has to do with its affect on the central nervous system, it affects the brain's ability to metabolize and function,” Elliott said.

Elliot says lead exposure is cumulative, meaning it stays in the body and builds up over time. He says daily exposure to even small amounts of lead like eating food that's been stored in a lunch box tainted with the toxic metal can potentially add up to serious health problems.

Contact information

Rep. Henry Waxman in Washington, D.C.
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-3976 (phone)
(202) 225-4099 (fax)

In Los Angeles
8436 West Third Street, Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 651-1040 (phone)
(818) 878-7400 (phone)
(310) 652-3095 (phone)
(323) 655-0502 (fax)

California State Department of Health:
MCI from TDD 1-800-735-2929 or MCI from voice telephone 1-800-735-2922
Sprint from TDD 1-888-877-5378 or Sprint from voice telephone 1-888-877-5379

California Department of Public Health
Food & Drug Branch
P.O. Box 997435 MS-7602
Sacramento, CA 95899-7435

Unfortunately, you'll need access to a computer to find your congresscritter:

Toll-free Consumer Hotline: 800-638-2772 (TTY 800-638-8270). Call to obtain product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products. Hotline staff may be reached from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm ET. Messages may be left anytime after these hours. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


General Information: (301) 504-7923 M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm ET
Fax: (301) 504-0124 and (301) 504-0025
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814

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