lead in cords in appliances--how risky? - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > lead in cords in appliances--how risky?
cinquefoily's Avatar cinquefoily 11:22 PM 10-29-2008
My new hot glue gun came with a warning that the cord contains lead and you should wash hands after use. Is this something I should be concerned about? What if I forget to wash hands? What about "cross contamination?"

Lisa85's Avatar Lisa85 11:28 PM 10-29-2008
I just noticed that on mine the other night too and it kinda freaked me out so I'd like to know the answer too.
alegna's Avatar alegna 11:42 PM 10-29-2008
It's pretty much all power cords by my understanding...

-Angela
Tilia's Avatar Tilia 12:05 AM 10-30-2008
Yep, power cords and Christmas lights.
Periwinkle's Avatar Periwinkle 03:02 PM 10-30-2008
All flexible (plastic-coated) power cords contain lead as far as I know (yes including CHristmas lights). I think, as far as risk factors go for raising one's lead level, the risk is miniscule if not entirely non-existant. Clearly things like tracking in lead-containing soil/dust into the home, movable parts (doors, windows) with lead paint), and chewing on or eating something made/painted with lead is a lot more risky.
joybird's Avatar joybird 04:43 PM 10-30-2008
They all contain lead, but some have a lot more than others. I tested a bunch of mine and the older ones seem to have more, or are releasing more because of age and degradation. So my ibook barely even tested positive (a teeny tiny hint of palest pink), while my ancient sewing machine cord was tested the hottest pink you ever saw.

I don't let dd touch cords at all, and I wash my hands after I touch them. I think Christmas lights have more because they are so cheaply made. I can feel the ick on my hands after touching them, which I don't feel with regular appliance cords. As far as risk goes, it depends. If someone didn't know any better and let their kid put a cord in their mouth or something, that's a pretty high risk, yk?
kriket's Avatar kriket 05:15 PM 10-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by joybird View Post
If someone didn't know any better and let their kid put a cord in their mouth or something, that's a pretty high risk, yk?
maybe I'm not seeing the point, but I would be more worried about the electricity rather then the lead. Or the strangulation hazard of playing with a cord. KWIM?
Periwinkle's Avatar Periwinkle 11:00 PM 10-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by joybird View Post
As far as risk goes, it depends. If someone didn't know any better and let their kid put a cord in their mouth or something, that's a pretty high risk, yk?
What is the risk of a parent letting their child gnaw on an electrical cord?

I mean, okay, yes they have lead. But there are much bigger fish to fry when it comes to reducing exposure to lead that contributes to lead levels in the body.
joybird's Avatar joybird 01:27 AM 10-31-2008
There are indeed bigger worries, no doubt! But I've seen parents let their kids handle Xmas lights for an hour and then eat snacks without thinking about it. They have no idea about the lead in cords. Personally, I don't want to take that risk, whatever it is. And you can't presume that whatever the FDA or the gov't says is safe actually is safe. After all, they're telling us BPA is safe, flame retardants are safe, pesticides are safe, etc etc.

And yes, unfortunately I have seen people let their kids play with unplugged power cords.
+stella+'s Avatar +stella+ 03:07 AM 10-31-2008
on another birth board (not here) i saw numerous posts of people dressing up their children in Christmas lights for pictures - young ones, under a year - with the lights on!

freaks me out every time, for a number of reasons, but yeah , i just wash my hands a lot while doing decorations and of course, dont let the kiddo play with and handle them.
Meems's Avatar Meems 11:02 AM 10-31-2008
i do not allow DD to play w/ electrical cords and wash my hands after handling them. i try to keep the cords out of site...
CaliforniaMommy's Avatar CaliforniaMommy 04:48 AM 11-05-2008
How about telephone cords? The ones that go to the wall, and the ones that attach the handset to the base? Are they also toxic? Anyone knows?
kdtmom2be's Avatar kdtmom2be 09:29 AM 11-05-2008
Good grief.

Lead has been in cords ever since they stopped wrapping cords in asbestos cloth. It makes the plastic coating soft so it bends.

Lead was in the cords before California decided that everything that is, was or might be hazardous, dangerous or even mildly concerning to you or your health should be listed on a tag attached to said item.

Cans of paint carry a warning about their contents, as if you would drink the paint if California wasn't looking out for you by placing a huge sticker/lable on the can.

So long as you aren't EATING the cord, like grinding up the plastic coating and adding it to your macaroni and cheese, you will be fine, just like we have been since about 1965.

People haven't been dropping dead from casual lead exposure or else we would have heard about it.
FeingoldMomma's Avatar FeingoldMomma 06:31 PM 11-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdtmom2be View Post
Good grief.

Lead has been in cords ever since they stopped wrapping cords in asbestos cloth. It makes the plastic coating soft so it bends.

Lead was in the cords before California decided that everything that is, was or might be hazardous, dangerous or even mildly concerning to you or your health should be listed on a tag attached to said item.

Cans of paint carry a warning about their contents, as if you would drink the paint if California wasn't looking out for you by placing a huge sticker/lable on the can.

So long as you aren't EATING the cord, like grinding up the plastic coating and adding it to your macaroni and cheese, you will be fine, just like we have been since about 1965.

People haven't been dropping dead from casual lead exposure or else we would have heard about it.
The problem isn't with adults mature systems, it's with our children's extremely immature systems. All the toxins in our lives build up to intolerable levels in the baby/toddler bodies. Lead is one of the worst offenders, and can cause pretty severe mental damage if it's allowed to build up. And we have been hearing about it.

Being careful and washing your hands after handling something with lead in it is no bad thing. Neither is keeping the inquisitive baby or toddler away from the cords (from both a strangulation as well as lead ingesting standpoint). Being wise about the dangers of lead is nothing to be poo-pooed at.
kriket's Avatar kriket 06:55 PM 11-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdtmom2be View Post
People haven't been dropping dead from casual lead exposure or else we would have heard about it.
they do warn that "low income" children are more likely to get lead poising, It may be cheaper cords, cheaper paint (maybe eating paint) eating off lead contaminated plates colouring with lead crayons.

There is a concern with children and lead poisoning.

But children shouldn't be handling cords either.

I agree that sometimes our "mama bear" instinct can go crazy and we ban stick pretzels from out house.
joybird's Avatar joybird 07:17 PM 11-06-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdtmom2be View Post
Good grief.

Lead has been in cords ever since they stopped wrapping cords in asbestos cloth. It makes the plastic coating soft so it bends.
Just because its been there forever doesn't make it safe. And the only reason its there at all is because its CHEAP. Believe me, in this day and age there are plenty of other ways to make cords. But, you know, the manufacturers don't want to do that cause it would cost MONEY, something which corporations and businesses have a hard time parting with just for the mere benefit of health and safety for young children and developing fetuses.

The thing with environmental toxins, as a pp said, is that exposure is cumulative. So yeah, I'll be avoiding any exposure to lead however I can. And yes, low-income children are at the highest danger from lead exposure in the population, because they are forced to live in crappy housing and their mothers have to work three jobs so there's not as much child supervision.

Lead is one of the most potent neurotoxins known to man. It takes an amount the size of a grain of salt to raise a child's lead level to what's considered lead poisoning. It's nothing to mess around with, and I for one am pissed off that I have to even worry about these things. That's what our gov't and tax dollars are supposed to be for - to put protections like these in place. But in this capitalist world where money makes the world go 'round, manufacturers of chemicals get away with whatever they want, while kids suffer.

Did you know that practically all of the N American population's blood is contaminated with lead, in addition to mercury, PBDE flame retardants, PCBs, perchlorate (yes, that's right - rocket fuel), the list goes on and on. Lead was banned from paint in Europe in the 1930's while our lovely country advertised it as the best durable paint for nurseries until well into the 1960s. They knew it was dangerous but no one gave a rat's bootie about that cause it was CHEAP to make. Am I making my point yet?
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