Deadly Lead


Watched NightLine Friday night with Mrs. WhiteCoat and there was an eye-opening story on how many of the trinkets you find at the “Dollar Store” have dangerously high levels of lead in them. Tea sets, dolls, bracelets, hair clips, and plastic toys all had significantly elevated levels of lead.

Lead poisoning can cause many vague symptoms such as “neurological problems, such as reduced cognitive abilities, or nausea, abdominal pain, irritability, insomnia, metal taste in the mouth, excess lethargy or hyperactivity, chest pain, headache and, in extreme cases, seizures, comas, and death. There are also associated gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss, which are common in acute poisoning. Other associated effects are anemia, kidney problems, and reproductive problems.”

One young boy died – presumably from lead poisoning – after swallowing a pendant from a Reebok shoe that was more than 99% lead.

Something to keep in mind for those kids with microcytic anemia in the ED.

Also something to keep in mind before putting those little trinkets in the Christmas stockings.

Video clip is here. Grab a cup of coffee and watch it.


  1. Maybe that is why I have hated the dollar store crap. Made in China…you get the idea…Had to get stuff for “treat bags” at school and my kids were ticked because I put in pencils, candy and a small play-doh. That’s it, that’s all. Thw lead thing was exactly what went through my head and I a generally not a neurotic. Alas, I have collected toys for years and got more in tune to lead content as time went on. Good post.

  2. OMG– that video made me cry. I don’t know who to detest more; the countries who make the products without anyor little regulation, or the countries that allow these products to be sold in their stores.

  3. It is greatly disturbing that these things happen and really…in this day and age…they should NOT happen. It’s just WRONG! What about quality and integrity?

    I once purchased a basting bulb from the dollar store. When I opened it…the bulb WREAKED of oil… like motor oil. I washed it, soaked it and it still smelled like oil or machinery. Admittedly…I used it once but threw it out. I didn’t know anything about China’s contaminated products back then.

    We should boycott said products and only buy American made or from countries that have proven to be reliable and trustworthy.

    There IS something to be said for quality!

  4. OK, gonna open myself up to the Ebeneezer Scrooge taunts….BUT……Y’now I’ve managed to live almost 50 years, broken my femur, tibia, and humerus, all in separate incidents, busted the sound barrier, been to a War, a Rodeo, and a World’s Fair, but somehow I’ve managed to NEVER swallow any Shoe Accessories. And if I believed in Evo-lution this would be a good example, you SHOULD die if you eat Shoe Components. Survival of the Fittest, and all that rot..
    Merry Christmas.
    Frank Ebeneezer Drackman

  5. Now you know why chicago requires every kid’s blood to be checked for lead during their mandatory school physicals…lead is especially ubiquitous in the lower socioeconomic areas.

  6. Now you know why chicago requires every kid’s blood to be checked for lead during their mandatory school physicals…lead is especially ubiquitous in the lower socioeconomic areas

    It’s in the water… leached from the pipes by the presence of Na2SiF6 (or H2SiF6).

    It’s not just the Chinese who are killing Americans with lead-laden products. We are doing it to ourselves.

  7. American wholesalers and companies want cheap crap for their stores, so China delivers. What did you expect?

    Although I will no longer buy electronics from small Asian companies, what a waste of my money.

  8. Interesting.

    Where I come from, traditional cooking involves several different varieties of earthen and metal pots. One particular type of pot is used to prepare specific types of “soups” – and this particular pot is made of lead (some pots have some tin mixed in). Bear in mind that the preparation of this soup entails the addition of acids (vinegar, tamarind etc.)

    Generations of my kinsmen have (and continue to have) “soup” made in this vessel – and we show no significant increase in symptoms.

    I’ve often wondered why 🙂


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