How I wish I were the type of journalist who worked on controversial material, because I'd love to sink my teeth (though not literally) into an expose regarding all the toys being recalled due to high amounts of lead.
Every time another release is sent out (like today's, courtesy of uber retailer Toys R Us), I'm forced to examine tons of my son's playthings. Is this contaminated? Is that manufactured during the period they mentioned on their website? Is this thing made in the right country?
My question is this: How hard can it be to ensure that lead isn't used in the manufacturing of kids' toys? Is quality assurance in the import/export business truly that difficult?
Of course, I shudder to think about how much lead I must have played around as a youngster.
I was born in 1971 and spent tons of time in houses with lead-based paint, I'm certain of it. That leads me to wonder whether there was any damage to my brain? (Those who don't care for me would rapidly answer that question.)
Would I be able to more effectively juggle my writing and day-to-day life if I hadn't been exposed to the toxin? I'd love to know, but the brain cells needed to answer that question probably breathed their last eons ago.
Fortunately, my son, who has tons of stuff that may or may not contain lead (who knows what tomorrow's press releases will say?), is amusing himself right now with a cardboard box that I fashioned into a house.
He's ripping off the "shutters", decorating the roof with stickers, and basically loving this bulky (but lead free!) item that's taking up part of the living room. ("Uh... honey... sorry about the mess... but it's better than having him play with lead-based crayons and paint!")
As long as box makers don't recall corrugated cardboard anytime soon, we'll probably be okay.