"Because you can't hug a tree if you can't find one."

11/11/2007

Toys: Recalled and Not Recalled

Yesterday my son and I went to the post office to pick up his package of hopefully-lead-free Thomas the Tank Engine replacements. So far, this has been the only one in a loooong list of recalls we were affected by this year.
While at my mom's on Friday evening, I read an article in her copy of Consumer Reports about how we are not out of the danger zone if all we've done is get rid of toys that have been recalled. It seems that lead is everywhere - even in the lining of kids lunch boxes. (From now on my son will be bringing his lunch to school in a homemade muslin bag. Which I plan to make today.)
My sister was very discouraged when I mentioned this to her, said it was just too much to keep up with. I suggested she follow a simple guideline: Plastic: Bad. Favor other materials.
It is not that we have to turn back the clock and live like our ancestors did, without electricity or modern medicine. But we should be aware that the goal of capitalism is not to provide people with safe, useful things - but rather, to separate people from their money by any and all means. Companies are not looking out for us when they make toys, plug-in air fresheners or plastic cling wrap. And product safety is certainly not one of the government's priorities. We have to look out for ourselves, be informed, and if it all seems like too much to keep up with, start by trying to avoid plastics.







(photos courtesy of Georges, my son)

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