Lead has been listed since 1987 on the Governor's list of chemicals that can cause reproductive harm and birth defects, and since 1992 has been on the list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Exposure to lead occurs chiefly from ingestion, such as eating or putting objects into the mouth, putting young children particularly at risk.
Impacts include birth defects, learning disabilities, hearing loss, reduced attention span, and behavioral abnormalities. Teenagers also can suffer adverse effects, which include brain damage, kidney damage, hearing loss, and impaired growth.
On Saturday, December 20, 2008, the City Attorney's Office will hold a Lead Toy Exchange at four locations throughout the city. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, each of these sites will have lead testers on-site to test toys brought in by parents and children.
If a toy is found to contain lead, the toy can then be exchanged for a $25.00 American Express gift card. A second toy testing positive may be exchanged for another American Express gift card. There is a limit of two gift cards/exchanges per household and this offer will only be good while supplies last. Gift cards will only be handed out in exchange for lead contaminated toys.
The City Attorney's Office will ensure the proper and safe disposal of the collected toys.
Parents may be asked to limit the number of toys depending on the popularity of the event.