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Back Away From the Bib

By Amanda Dickman in News on May 3, 2007 8:20PM

2007_5_bib.jpgIf you have purchased a baby bib from Wal-Mart in the past three years, listen up — the superstore is recalling "Baby Connection" bibs (made exclusively for the chain by Hamco Inc.) due to unsafe levels of lead. At first, the recall was just for the state of Illinois, but it is now nationwide. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has weighed in on the matter as well, stating that "there is a potential risk of lead exposure from baby bibs with cracked or peeling vinyl surfaces."

Wal-Mart issued the recall after a lawsuit was filed by the Center for Environmental Health. Lab tests showed that the level of lead in the bibs was 16 times the level allowed in paint. Like us, you're probably wondering what in the hell this stuff doing in children's products. Well, technically, the lead is used to stabilize the vinyl, and apparently it can easily be replaced with another, less harmful chemical. So, let's get on that, shall we?

Sen. Barack Obama is already on top of the issue; he is working on getting lead safety legislation passed, namely the Lead Free Toys Act of 2007, which would require "no more than trace amounts of lead in products for children under 6 years of age."

While this is a serious safety concern (no one wants lead-poisoned babies), we must take issue with a couple of minor points. First, the still of the interview with Grandma Furer that accompanies the CBS article is just ridiculous. There was not one other moment that captured the essence of the story? Also, the article says that Furer tested the bibs herself. Prior to this article, we'd never taken the time to look into home lead-testing kits, for which there is quite the market, but good for Grandma and her Mr. Wizard-like investigation. Although, it must be said that Mr. Wizard wouldn't dare use something like a dinky pre-made kit, but we digress.

The bottom line here is this: if you have bibs from Wal-Mart with vinyl characters or vinyl backing that is cracked or worn, get it out of the kid's mouth and see about getting a refund. You can return the bibs to the store for a full refund or receive a free replacement by calling 877-373-3812 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central time.

Image via Owen and Emma.