Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Get The Lead Out...Or Don't


If you can figure out the rationale on this one, I'm all ears. Granted, I realize that it involves the Federal government, but still. There has to be a reason why some lead tainted drinking glasses were recalled because it was thought that they were for children. Once they found out that they were technically not for children, then the recall was recalled. Never mind that the glasses still have over 1,000 times the acceptable amount of lead in them. As long as their purpose is defined, everything should turn out just dandy, right? Wait. What?

Here's the story: See, there were these drinking glasses that had Wizard of Oz characters on them and Star Wars characters on them. Pretty cool, yes? Yes. According to
The Daily Herald, the "...Consumer Product Safety Commission (the ol' CPSC) said last month the glasses were children's products and thus subject to strict federal lead limits". That seems like a good thing, especially since "Lab testing by The Associated Press found lead in the colored decorations up to 1,000 times the federal maximum for children's products." That's a whole lotta lead. But they were recalled so everyone is safe. Problem solved! Ummm, yeah....not so fast.

Lead is bad. No one wants a mouthful of lead. Ever. It's just a bad, bad thing to ingest into your body. But for some reason, there are no limits on lead for adult drinking glasses. None! As adults, our products can be as lead-y as they can be (and a thousand times more than a maximum sounds like an awful lot of lead) and they're just fine to sell and use willy-nilly. Am I the only one confused as to why something like lead would only be monitored for children's products and not for adult products? I must be. That's because once the CPSC decided that a drinking glass with a Wizard of Oz character or a Star Wars character on it was not a drinking glass made for an adult (an assumption that I take great umbrage at!), they recalled their recall and all is well in drinking glass land again. Right? What now? Oh, the lead! Yeah, I was getting to that.

Who ARE these morons?! Are they serious?! It's a drinking glass. Do you think that kids (or adults, for that matter) actually differentiate between which drinking receptacles are for children and which are for adults? I'm not so sure that they do. I'll go as far as to say that I will draw the line at a sippy cup. I don't think that adults should be drinking out of one of those (no matter how spill proof they may seem). Other than that, I don't think that there's going to be much differentiating going on.

Seriously, the glasses have pictures of cool things on them. What kid, given a choice, would not opt for one with a picture on it as opposed to one that does not have a picture? I'm not imagining that too many would. Heck, I would choose the Yoda glass over a plain glass any day. (May the Force be with me and my liquids!) But according to a one Scott Wolfson, the spokeshole for CPSC, "These glasses are not primarily intended for use by a child 12 or younger. ... Since these glasses are not intended for use by young children, it is recommended that parents not provide them to children to use." Oh. OK, then. If it's that simple then...wait a minute! That's not going to work!

Clearly, this Mr. Wolfson does not have small children. It's questionable, given his reasoning, as to whether he's ever been around a small child. If either of those scenarios had been true, he'd realize that is near idiotic. You think that an 11-year old isn't going to be drinking out of the Chewbacca glass? You're wrong. They are. And what are you supposed to tell them as to why they can't drink out of the cool glasses?

You: You can't use that glass.

Child Susceptible To Lead: Why?

You: Because it has a whole lot of lead in it.

Child Confused With Your Logic: What's lead?

You: It's a chemical that's really, really bad for you. Worse than masturbating.

Child With More Sense Than The CPSC: Then how come you can use it?

You: I'm like Superman. Lead doesn't hurt me. Now, go play on the freeway.

I'm not sure why things with lead in them are not regulated for adults. I'm also not sure why drinking glasses need to have any lead in them in the first place, let alone 1,000 times more lead that they're allowed to have. Did I mention that they're made in China? They are. The Chinese seem to just love lead, as they seem to put it in a lot of stuff that they're selling us. Hmm. Maybe that's how they think that they'll overtake us. Tempt us with Chewbacca glasses and then wait until our lead-y, lead-y brains end up like pickled turnips. The sad part is, given how we apparently regulate things in this country, it just might work.

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