Hey, sorry I was quiet - we went to a conference with BJ (well, he did the conference, and we played), so I was too busy to post. Bad Mommy.
So, with the holiday season approaching like a freight train laden with calories, guilt, and debt, it's time to do something about the freaking lead, already. You know about the lead, I've written about it before, and now there's the extraordinarily horrifying story about the date rape drug in the Aqua Dots. Seriously, I thought it was an urban legend when I first heard about it, because I could not conceive of a company so irresponsible that they would allow deadly chemicals into their toys, but I guess I was naive.
Here's what we're going to do about it. First, you need to go here and use the easy peasy "contact your representative" form (you don't even have to know who your representative is - you just need your zip code) to tell your Congresspersons that you think it's insane that there's only ONE toy inspector for the entire country, and that the CPSC needs to be given the means to protect our pretty babies.
Certain Congresspersons (like mine) only accept letters if they're mailed through a specific web form, so if that's the case in your area, as it is in mine, the website will walk you through how to get it to them. You may need your Zip+4 code, which you can find at the Post Office's website.
I have read that Congresspeople get so few letters that it only takes a few to influence their votes. I don't know if that's true (especially since I just finished reading a novel about lobbying and how Big Business controls everything in Washington, anyway), but it's motivating enough for me.
Next, via ParentDish, are several lists of places where you can buy non-Chinese made, lead free toys:
The Daily Green - 500 non-Chinese toys (hint: Lego)
Little Tykes (that little cottage would be a BIG hit around here!!)
Third, if you're a parent, get yourself a lead test kit, and use it on anything you think might be suspect. (That's just one - there are hundreds - do a Google search if you don't like that one. I just picked the first.)
Lastly, stay on top of the toy recall thing, and be aware of what you're putting in your shopping cart this Christmas. When in doubt, buy socks and underwear. They don't contain lead (yet).