There’s a heartbreaking article in today’s New York Times about children in China who have lead poisoning due to the lax standards of manufacturing in China. I recall when we first learned that brand-name American toys manufactured in China were painted with lead–yes, Barbie, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Matchbox!–I thought, our kids are playing with the toys, but what about the kids in China whose parents are making them and track the heavy metals into their homes, the kids who live near factories, or who breathe air contaminated by heavy metals?
Here in America, we know about lead in paint and now, in cheap toys and imports. I’ve been talking for years about lead in porcelain bathtubs that leach lead (you can test the glaze using a kit from the hardware store; I had my landlord replace my tub that was leaching lead). I know lead tests are painful for most kids (well, not to the hyposensitive child–my son actually enjoyed the sensation at first, one of the signs I had that something was “off” with this little guy!). Nevertheless, we MUST be careful to monitor our children and avoid exposing them to lead.
One small consolation: There are few foreign publishers who buy books on special needs parenting (if you know of any, please do contact me!), but there was a publisher in China who bought the rights to Raising a Sensory Smart Child. (we also sold Croatian rights). I want to believe that the book will get into the hands of these parents so they can learn about lead poisoning (yes, that is covered, along with mercury poisoning) and what to do for their kids who develop sensory processing issues as a result of lead poisoning. Still, how heartbreaking to read of this very preventable problem!