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The Truth about Lead

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In this installment of "Dangerous or Safe?" pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson sets the record straight on lead ... once and for all.

What parent doesn't look into her child's room and see brightly colored toys all over the floor? Until recently, those toys brought nothing but joy. But now they evoke fear. Are those toys safe? Consumers have become increasingly aware--and thus increasingly concerned--about toys and lead. How can you tell if your child's toy contains lead? More and more, the question has become: Are those toys endangering my kids?

In June 2007, 1.5 million Thomas the Tank Engine toys were recalled for a potential lead poisoning hazard. Many of the red painted engines and signposts (and some of the yellow ones) manufactured between 2005 to 2007 in China included a surface paint that contained lead. If enough lead is ingested, it can have toxic effects. The paint posed a risk because young children who play with the Thomas toys are likely to put the toys in their mouths. Lead can also be aerosolized and inhaled in the form of a fine lead dust.

To find out what you can do if you suspect that there is lead in your pipes, toys or home, and for Dr. Cara's bottom line on lead, go to The Truth About Lead PAGE 2.

Dr. Cara Natterson, author of Your Toddler: Head To Toe is a pediatrician and mother of 2. To buy a copy of her book, click here She is currently working on the forthcoming book entitled Dangerous or Safe?

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