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#61 of 122 Old 11-21-2007, 02:46 PM
 
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oops i just posted on wrong thread, lol. That's what happens when i have too many windows opened :
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#62 of 122 Old 11-21-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Oh, man, we have a TON of M&D toys. Here I thought we were being so "pure" not having too many plastic toys. I LOVE the natural wood toys (NOT made in China, where you can see the wood grain) but they're so pricey. Now I wish we'd bought my son fewer toys but better quality.

If the home lead-testing kits are not accurate, does anyone know how you could make sure something is safe? We "inherited" blocks my DH had as a kid. I used the home test kit when we first got them and thought that would be enough.

I did have my son's lead levels checked when he was a year. I may have them checked again. I'm going to see a naturopath in a few months and may talk to her about doing hair testing for heavy metals.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#63 of 122 Old 11-21-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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Ughh...this whole thing makes me sick. Why can't they just stop using this junk in children's toys.
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#64 of 122 Old 11-21-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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How could you possibly totally stay away from plastic toys?
I go to playgroups at the family center more than 3 times a week and most of them are all plastic or M&D type of puzzles. You guys never go out for a playdate?
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#65 of 122 Old 11-21-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pradiata View Post
I think the answer is "NO".

I've been reading lately that there are some loopholes regarding safe lead levels in plastics. Some plastics will have many times the safe levels of lead in them because the toys were tested for "migration" levels (how much lead seeps out of the plastic simply by being in surface contact with something, often vinegar for the tests) rather than "total lead tests" (where they scrape the plastic, melt it down and see how much actual lead it contains). When tested for total lead many more toys fail toxicity testing, such as Mega Blocks as discovered recently in Canada.

Lead is used to color red and yellow plastics. It's cheaper than safer alternatives, so I imagine that very high quality plastic (oxymoron!) would be less likely to have lead in it. It seems like Legos and Playmobil may be safer because of their higher quality, but I would like to know more.

Plus plastics have all their own nasty stuff in addition to whatever lead may be there. In one way, at least lead is in a somewhat natural form and it's toxicity is known and understood, where as all the bizarre side effects of plastic exposure are only just starting to be understood.

Toys don't have to be lead-free to be considered non-toxic, they just have to have low levels of lead (600 parts per million). So if our children have many toys with low (ie, "safe") lead levels, doesn't it seem like that could eventually all add up to toxic levels?

I think I'm going to ditch everything that isn't made of untreated natural materials in our home! I spend a fortune on organically grown food just to have my child poisoned by TOY manufacturers? : Are these people monsters?
How are children exposed to toxins from plastic toys. By mouthing them? or even by touching? If the are old enough not to toys in the mouth, is it safe to give them plastic toys?
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#66 of 122 Old 11-21-2007, 10:59 PM
 
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i dunno we stopped buying toys MIC and only stick with the natural unpainetd wooden ones like from www.threesisters.com
The correct link is: http://www.threesisterstoys.com/

Great stuff there!

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#67 of 122 Old 11-22-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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I think that waiting to condemn something until we get independent test results is part of that "oh well it messed up a whole lot of people now lets do something about it" trend. THe same trend with pharmacueticals, with toys, with everything.

If we waited for test results on the benefits of breastfeeding I wouldnt have been breastfed as most of the kids who are over 15-18 years of age.

I thank the OP for posting this info and trying to warn us on something that many of us have already thought true for a while.
Well, I know all it takes is a shocking headline to get people's attention and the substance of the matter may well be true, it may also be a misunderstanding or it may be an outright falsehood and I'm NOT saying that anything that counterGOPI has gone through is fabricated, I totally believe what she has written happened to her and am very happy that her children's lead levels are down. What I am saying is that there is a possibility that there was some other factor at play, something that could have been overlooked if it isn't an obvious source. What I'm saying is that if these toys were tested and were found to have lead in them, that appropriate authorities should have been contacted in addition to consumer interest groups that have the funding to get things pushed into the national media's attention and that independent tests should be administered.

To do any less would be far too similar to a witch hunt, we've all read The Crucible right?

So, I ask, who else has been notified of these test results showing lead in these toys? EWG? CPSC? ANSI? WATCH? USPIRG? Local & Federal Lawmakers? I know there are more people to contact but that's all I can think of right now. For anyone who has concerns about these toys and aren't satisfied with what the company tells you, should you be taking the next step and contacting one or more of these groups to press for answers?

ETA: One of the ladies from my playgroup was having lead problems with her kids and tested all over the place and her doctor even order her breastmilk to be tested and guess what? High lead levels in her breastmilk.
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#68 of 122 Old 11-22-2007, 06:20 AM
 
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I don't know about Plan but I do know that many Haba products are made in China.

Honestly, I think that I will withhold condemning M&D until I see published independent test results showing what their lead levels are. There are many many factors that can contribute to high lead levels. the last few places I've lived, our homes were thoroughly tested for lead and the places where it was found was in the dirt outside the house and near the playground. If your children are being tested for lead and are found to have high levels, be sure to check the earth where your children play.
ALL of HABA wooden toys are made in germany... the only HABA toys MIC are puzzles and stuffed toys...
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#69 of 122 Old 11-22-2007, 07:02 AM
 
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I only have a food set from them and a puzzle.

I should have known...they are MIC.
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#70 of 122 Old 11-22-2007, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I know all it takes is a shocking headline to get people's attention and the substance of the matter may well be true, it may also be a misunderstanding or it may be an outright falsehood and I'm NOT saying that anything that counterGOPI has gone through is fabricated, I totally believe what she has written happened to her and am very happy that her children's lead levels are down. What I am saying is that there is a possibility that there was some other factor at play, something that could have been overlooked if it isn't an obvious source. What I'm saying is that if these toys were tested and were found to have lead in them, that appropriate authorities should have been contacted in addition to consumer interest groups that have the funding to get things pushed into the national media's attention and that independent tests should be administered.

To do any less would be far too similar to a witch hunt, we've all read The Crucible right?

So, I ask, who else has been notified of these test results showing lead in these toys? EWG? CPSC? ANSI? WATCH? USPIRG? Local & Federal Lawmakers? I know there are more people to contact but that's all I can think of right now. For anyone who has concerns about these toys and aren't satisfied with what the company tells you, should you be taking the next step and contacting one or more of these groups to press for answers?

ETA: One of the ladies from my playgroup was having lead problems with her kids and tested all over the place and her doctor even order her breastmilk to be tested and guess what? High lead levels in her breastmilk.
no witch hunt here. for sure!

and myself,my dh and my BM was tested too

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#71 of 122 Old 11-22-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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i am not all that surprised. i had questioned them about formaldehyde in thier toys which are made from plywoods and particle boards - all which contain formaldehyde. (they did say they do not use formaldehyde free plywoods) thier response was that thier toys were tested and met american standards. american standards basically let poisons run rampant in just about anything.
i believe haba toys are safe. german toys do have much stricter controls over toxic ingrediants. and i don't think everything from china is bad. we have an eco home store and there are many fair trade green companies out there who to keep costs down manufacture in china. but they are conscious companies whose first goal is not profit. the company who sets up the factories over there is responsible for what componants are used. Unfortunately profit is the only motive for most of these companies.

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#72 of 122 Old 11-27-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Anymore info on the M+D toys? I went to the news website and didn't see anything there.
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#73 of 122 Old 11-27-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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This completely upsets me.....

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#74 of 122 Old 11-27-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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great....i bought my son quite a few M&D toys for Christmas...thinking those would be the toys I would have to worry least about... wonderful..: I'm so tired of this crap.
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#75 of 122 Old 11-28-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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...there are many fair trade green companies out there who to keep costs down manufacture in china. but they are conscious companies whose first goal is not profit. the company who sets up the factories over there is responsible for what componants are used. Unfortunately profit is the only motive for most of these companies.
I totally get the gist of what you're saying here, but I have never heard of a company whose first goal wasn't profit. If your goal isn't profit, why go into business in the first place? I don't know of any companies who, if no profit was made, would stay in business just for the love.

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#76 of 122 Old 11-28-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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I saw someone mention awhile back the idea of stripping the toys and refinishing them. I don't think this is a good idea because you might leave little pieces of stripped paint lying around where they could do more harm than if it was just left intact on the toy. It seems like removing the paint safely would be too difficult to be worth it.
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#77 of 122 Old 11-28-2007, 04:08 AM
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I saw someone mention awhile back the idea of stripping the toys and refinishing them. I don't think this is a good idea because you might leave little pieces of stripped paint lying around where they could do more harm than if it was just left intact on the toy. It seems like removing the paint safely would be too difficult to be worth it.
This is a good point. Anyone considering this option should make sure to use a stripper specifically designed for safe removal of lead-based paints.

The type of stripper my mom is using (soy strip) is intended for safe, non-airborne stripping of lead paint in home remodelling - it comes off in a soft sheet, can be easily transferred to a disposal container even when used on large surfaces, and is disposed of as a toxic substance (you normally have to call a local hotline for disposal of old paint and other toxic substances, and this is no different). Properly done, for removal of finishes and paints from individual pieces, it is done on a dropcloth and the dropcloth is used for nothing else and disposed of with the residue that is removed. Of course, gloves, and a paint respirator are worn during the process. It isn't going to be done anywhere that my sons will be playing in the future (it will be done in the garage), and anyone else who does this should also take those, or simliarly careful, precautions.

Once it is stripped, it will be painted and then sealed for maximum safety. My mom is an artist and house restorer, so this not an unknown process for her, and she is looking forward to making the number clock a personalized artistic keepsake that my sons will enjoy.

However, if you have no experience in refinishing old furniture safely, I'd also suggest forgoing the process, unless you are willing to invest in the various materials and equipment necessary.

Maura
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#78 of 122 Old 12-01-2007, 02:37 AM
 
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subbing...we seemto have so many of the toys that are testing postive for lead...it'svery disheartening, idon't know what to buy anymore.

And for those with older children, how do you get away with not getting the popular toys? I think I'm starting to worry more about all the electronics my kids are exposed to...computers, ipods, nintendos, gameboys (heck, even my amish have gameboys and nintendos now), cellphones, and then when we go out there are tons of electonics everyone we go, even when ordering food sometimes! That "electrosmog" is starting to bother me as much as lead in my kids toys.

Add that to the chemicals, dyes, additives in food and seriously, its enough to drive you mad. I think that sometimes we can also become so obsessed it reminds me of an eating disorder or something with a contant dwelling, thinking, obsessing, researching, etc. And I am totally including myself here.

I have been thinking of taking my kids to a DAN doctor, but truthfully not really sure we have what it takes to go on a GFCF diet (although we aretrying) along with everything else. I can keep up with one, maybe two, plus my own health problems, but then it falls apart when i add everyone else in.

I don't know if I'm ready to get rid of all my lead toys, wouldn't itbe OK to just seal them with something? I'm afraid I'll get rid of everything, buy new stuff, only to find out that has a problem too!!!
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#79 of 122 Old 12-02-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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I totally get the gist of what you're saying here, but I have never heard of a company whose first goal wasn't profit. If your goal isn't profit, why go into business in the first place? I don't know of any companies who, if no profit was made, would stay in business just for the love.
my company organic grace was not begun for profit. first and foremost i am a doula and a mother and my main purpose was and still is to get babies off poison mattresses and offer alternatives to toxic products. while i would like to be able to support my family from our business, i have no wish to get rich and would drop it all in a hot second if i had to take a chance on poisoning a child for profit. i also belong to co-op america where there are hundreds of other like minded business owners. it is possible to be in business and have health and well being the prime motivation and profit a nice and necassary benefit that does not require harming others.

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#80 of 122 Old 12-03-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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I don't know what lead me to this thread but I am glad I read it... There goes more out of dd's room...

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#81 of 122 Old 12-03-2007, 03:11 AM
 
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This is just so frusturating! I want dd to have toys she enjoys but we are on a budget. It is so hard to find safe toys that are priced ok for us.
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#82 of 122 Old 12-04-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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99% of our toys are M&D...I thought I was doing right by my kids by getting them

I agree with some of the PPs who said some of them seem to be made better than others. I can't see, for example, the piano causing a problem or even the kitchen set that folds out. But some things like the magnetic number/letter sets which my ds LOVES to chew on...ugh... :

I just ordered 3 of their toys for DS's bday which is Sat. yesterday. If I keep them out of the baby's hands, do you think they are OK? I mean, my 3 year old isn't putting the pieces in his mouth. IDK... I can't decide if I should try to cancel my order and get some HABA or something for him. There is one store near us that carries HABA, but they don't have nearly the selection that M&D does (at the store), seems like mostly toys for baby ds.

This is really a bummer.

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#83 of 122 Old 12-04-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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M&D passed all the tests in France, and the standards there are higher than the US for lead and other.

Also , FYI, many of Haba's soft and wooden toys are partially made in China.
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#84 of 122 Old 12-04-2007, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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99% of our toys are M&D...I thought I was doing right by my kids by getting them

I agree with some of the PPs who said some of them seem to be made better than others. I can't see, for example, the piano causing a problem or even the kitchen set that folds out. But some things like the magnetic number/letter sets which my ds LOVES to chew on...ugh... :

I just ordered 3 of their toys for DS's bday which is Sat. yesterday. If I keep them out of the baby's hands, do you think they are OK? I mean, my 3 year old isn't putting the pieces in his mouth. IDK... I can't decide if I should try to cancel my order and get some HABA or something for him. There is one store near us that carries HABA, but they don't have nearly the selection that M&D does (at the store), seems like mostly toys for baby ds.

This is really a bummer.
I know exactly what you mean mama

I definately would never allow another m&d toy near any of my kids or friends kids no matter what they may try to say about, how 'safe' their toys are I know the truth. Nevermind the fact that most of thier toys aren't even real wood!! they are mostly particle board (which is glued together with formeldahyde) or filled wood uke: nd again their working conditions, slave labor etc. i'd much rather know 100% my kids aren't exposed to anything bad to them by making my own toys and only buying from companies that can be trusted like spiel and holz, ostheimer, kinderkram etc and of course wahm companies etc you can talk to the person actually making the toys like willowtoys. (love them!)

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#85 of 122 Old 12-04-2007, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah i hear that haba is havign some things made in china now too thats stinks. we don't really have anything of theirs anyways but still...

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#86 of 122 Old 12-04-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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This is thoroughly depressing.

The only wooden toys that were widely available that I could afford to get for my kids were M&D.

Now what about all the wooden stuff (lincoln logs, busy bead thingie) that I got at places like Target? or the Imaginarium company? Or the huge pile of building blocks that I have no idea what the Co. name was?

I feel like the world's biggest idiot for assuming if it was made out of wood then it was more than likely safe. I didn't even think about the paint on wood. :

Ironically my niece (who is 6) was over this weekend and decided to "help" pick up toys upstairs. She picked up some pieces of ripped paper to throw in the garbage and that was all I saw was her throwing paper away in the garbage. I look closer in the garbage later on and there's toys in the garbage too! I wasn't totally happy at the time taking the time to fish out "the good toys" - the wooden ones, the safe ones, the ones that are supposed to last - (think she could have tossed a broken one at least? noooo LOL)

what a difference a thread makes.
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#87 of 122 Old 12-04-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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I'm really glad to read this thread...thank you for the information about how the paint chips so easily on M&D toys! Those prices are a little too good to be true.

I went to my dear friend's house who has a 3 year old. She had hellllla M&D toys...I mean they were all over the place!! Lots. She just did a hair sample on her DD and the lead level was .3, meaning almost nothing. That led me to deduce that M&D did not have lead.
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#88 of 122 Old 12-04-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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This is thoroughly depressing.

The only wooden toys that were widely available that I could afford to get for my kids were M&D.

Now what about all the wooden stuff (lincoln logs, busy bead thingie) that I got at places like Target?
Lincoln Logs are made in China. My DH found some generic ones at Wal-mart that are made in the US though. I think you just have to read the box to find out where stuff is made. I was at the toy store the other day and found a Thomas puzzle for DS that was made in the US (I think Ravensburger brand) and then I picked up another Thomas puzzle right next to it but made by a different company and that one was made in China.
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#89 of 122 Old 12-05-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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OMG.

OK guys, I hope I can help. here are my crednentials:

1) my DS had heavy metal toxicity to lead, mercury, and arcenic.

2) we've particpated in studies and lots of testing and Dr meetings on this issue

3) I retail toys, including a little M&D


OK, so I wish I'd seen this post sooner to correct two of the OP's biggest misconceptions- first, home lead test kits are VERY innacurate. Google it, they are practically useless because they give tons of false positives AND false negatives
second, blood lead levels fall NATURALLY. You could remove any random thing in your house, wait a while, and levels should fall. that's because blood levels only detect recent exposures, and as time passes, some is excreted, and some latches onto your organs to cause permanent damage, but either way it's not free-floating in the blood anymore.

I blogged my ideas here re: what to do with the toys you already have, what to buy, how worried to be.
http://blog.tendercargo.com/personal...-recall-storm/

I promise, I'm not just spouting opinion here. we are enrolled in the Childhood Autism Risks in Genetics and the Environment study at the UCD MIND institute and being perosnally involved with metal toxicity as a mom and a shop owner, I take this stuff very seriosuly.


edit:
if you don't follow my link, *please* at least hear this.

"Our case doesn’t have a simple answer- we have NOT owned any recalled toys and we have no obvious exposures in our environmental history. Presently we are looking for genetic differences, such as an inability to metabolize and reject the toxins that we all encounter in modern life. I don’t worry about his toys, I worry about the times he teethed on my key chain, on my cell phone, or even maybe the pesticides on our food or the dyes on his Made in China pillowcase or WalMart sippy cups. I wonder about when we lived right next to the freeway or how I got amalgam fillings while still nursing him. My message to parents is to NOT live in fear of any of these things, because you can’t possibly live a life escaping every one, and it may be years before science proves which things actually harmed us and which prove safe."

Berkeley mom of 3 and President of Tender Cargo Baby Gear
and The Nurture Center Store and Resource Center 3399 Mt Diablo Bl Lafayette CA 888-998-BABY
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#90 of 122 Old 12-05-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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After I got done reeling, I decided to calm down and keep the MD toys that I do have and not "bar" the kids getting them for Christmas. I do still have to weed through the toys though. : I will of course be more diligent about checking labels in the future.
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