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Thomas The Train and Friends Toys Recalled

  1. Jun 19, 2007 #1
    The toys apparently have lead in the paint. I have a feeling that the list below from the Consumer Product Safety Commission is going to grow.:grumpy:

    I bought these for my grandson from "The Learning Curve". DAMN They should have been covered in gold for what they cost.


    As near as I can find out the "Learning Curve" is owned by a company called RC2 and the toys have been made in China since 2005.


    This link to RC2 gives code letters on found the bottom of toys that are safe.
    They are "WJ" or "AZ". It also has a link to pictures of the toys involved.


    This has been going on for two years, and has just now been discovered??:mad:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2007 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    Not long ago a Chinese company was caught using lead paint on lunch boxes for children.

    The Chinese seem to be doing everything possible to help US manufacturing compaines. Eventually this issue of Chinese products being dangerous is going to reach critical mass. I no longer trust that any product made in China is safe.

    There are many very good reasons why it costs more to manufacture products here than elsewhere - oversight and safety are two of the big ones.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  4. Jun 19, 2007 #3
    In the statement:

    In cooperation with the CPSC, RC2 has issued a voluntary recall on June 13th, 2007, of various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway vehicles and wooden train set components sold at toy stores and various retailers nationwide from January 2005 through June 2007.

    Voluntary? :surprised
  5. Jun 19, 2007 #4


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    They didn't wait to be forced.
  6. Jun 19, 2007 #5
    With all of the problems with imported goods coming from China one would think that the Product safety Commission would be increasing staff. Instead they are down by 10%.:frown:
  7. Jun 19, 2007 #6

    Chi Meson

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    Hey, priorities.

    Now watch this drive.
  8. Jun 19, 2007 #7
    Thats about it.

    One would think that when selling toys for two year olds they would have found the time during the last two years to run a 30 second $12 lead paint test.

  9. Jun 19, 2007 #8


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    *raises hand*

    Skepticism anybody?

    How dangerous are toy trains that have lead paint on them? Just how much lead will the children ingest?

    Why is lead used in paint? Because they sell it by weight, or what?
  10. Jun 19, 2007 #9


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    Thanks for bringing that up. I never ate my toys when I was little. If your child eats toys... You might have a bigger problem than paint. :uhh:

    How many toys would the child have to eat for it to be a health hazard?
  11. Jun 19, 2007 #10
    Why would you think that a child would eat the entire toy?? I can't believe that educated adults would make light of this.:grumpy:

    Are you sure you remember what you were chewing on when you were two years old?:rolleyes: Most two year olds will chew on just about anything, and lead has a slightly sweet taste.

    There is enough lead on just one of those little toys to cause a significant IQ drop by adolescence. Lead tends to stay in the body unless it is diagnosed and removed by chelation therapy.

    The safe level for lead in the fetus and toddlers is ZERO. It affects the development of the brain and central nervous system. The child doesn't have to chew on the wooden toys to be exposed. As the toys bump and rub together the child ends up with lead dust on his/her hands which gets transferred to the mouth. The dust can also be inhaled. That is why lead based paint was banned in 1978.

    Lead was used in paint because it made the pigment more vibrant. It also acted as a preservative because it killed mold that can grow inside of a paint can.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2007
  12. Jun 20, 2007 #11


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    No, I didn't mean eat the entire toy. I wasn't a mouther and neither were my girls.

    Edward, how much lead was found in the paint?

    When poisoning from lead paint was a serious problem, there was a very high percentage of lead and the kids were eating piles of lead paint chips, like from around window sills.

    While paint with lead is stupid on a child's toy, how much of a threat is this? I know children are more susceptable, but I have not seen anything that says how much lead was in the paint.

    In older homes, there is still old lead paint and lead soldering on water pipes.

    Here's a good reference on lead paint.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2007
  13. Jun 20, 2007 #12
    I doubt that we will ever know the exact amount, but lead based paint is manufactured by a standard formula which probably hasn't changed over the years, even in China. Lead is typically in paint in the form of lead oxide or lead carbonate. And there was definitely enough lead that the toys were recalled.

    The problem with this particular situation is that the train sets are very popular and they are a hands on toy. Ironically they are also an expensive toy. This fact caught a lot of people, myself included, off guard.

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention only lists a supposedly safe level of lead in the blood. That level is 10mcg per deciliter, that is about 100 parts per billion. Several recent studies done in 2003 show that any level of lead in the blood of a child will have some adverse effect.


    Although the lead paint used in older houses will continue to be a problem, we are now aware of the danger and steps have been taken to alleviate the chance of exposure. The two worst places in older homes are outside around the base of the house and inside under window sills.

    Lead test kits are readily available at most hardware stores for about $12.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2007
  14. Jun 20, 2007 #13


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  15. Jun 20, 2007 #14
    According to the EPA:


    That's a helluva lot of lead on a child's toy when compared to the zero tolerance safety level for small children found in the 2003 studies.

    The federal government has some catching up to do.
  16. Jun 20, 2007 #15


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    Any amount of lead is unacceptable in children's toys, IMHO. I am just wondering as MK did if it was a significant threat or just a precaution.

    There are problems with pottery used for food and beverages being painted with lead paint still coming from Mexico. There was a family suffering from lead poisoning a couple of weeks ago from drinking orange juice they stored in a painted jug they purchased in Mexico. I thought everyone knew not to eat or drink off of Mexican pottery, I knew about it back in 1974 on my first trip to Mexico.
  17. Jun 20, 2007 #16
    We also have a lot of tableware and decorative cups coming in from China. I doubt that any of it is tested. BTW the most common symtom of lead exposure in adults is high blood presure.
  18. Jun 20, 2007 #17


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    I have seen quite a few other engineering practices that have come out of China that would be considered criminal if done here in the states. The issue here though is not the Chinese but the companies that export their goods from China. It is their responsibility to verify that the goods sold in the US are safe to OUR standards.
  19. Jun 20, 2007 #18
    Man, I've used lead based paints to paint full size trains over the summers in high school. I'm not crazy, and I had that stuff on my hands and could smell the fumes.

    Give me a break. Dust from the toy train? Is the child going to file the paint off? Is thomas the tank engine a toy for toddlers?

    I watched thomas the tank engine when I was probably 5 or 6 years old.


    If you want to paint the door of your house, use lead paint. It will be very nice and it will last a long time too. Lead paints really are great. The color is fantastic. (But it costs A LOT more money becasuse the good stuff is imported from Dutch-landia).
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2007
  20. Jun 20, 2007 #19
    Sorry, this toy ant for kids under 5.


    BTW, I had one of these growing up and a Lionel train set, (which I still have). GREAT TOY for a little boy.

    Much better than the stupid toys I see kids playing with these days at that age. All junk that does not involve 'building' something. You had to read the instructions, (or look at the picture), and set down the tracks into a figure 8. Then you could change it and add more track if you got a different train set. (Same for Lionel).

    A pre-lego type toy.
  21. Jun 20, 2007 #20


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    The toy may be a bit "mature" for a toddler who likes to test about everything with his mouth, but many children that are the appropriate age for that toy will have younger siblings in the house and/or the children of friends or relatives visiting.

    It is probably a good idea to point out that the role of lead oxide (which is a very white powder) in paint is to provide opacity, so thinner coats can be used and still get coverage. Titanium dioxide (another very white powder) is a wonderful opacifier, but it is very expensive, so don't expect the Chinese factories to switch to it unless they are forced to do so.
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