For Immediate Release
June 25, 1996
Release # 96-150
Contact: Kathleen Begala
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1193
CPSC Finds Lead Poisoning Hazard for Young Children in Imported Vinyl Miniblinds
WASHINGTON, D.C. After testing and analyzing imported vinyl miniblinds, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that some of these blinds can present a lead poisoning hazard for young children. Twenty-five million non-glossy, vinyl miniblinds that have lead added to stabilize the plastic in the blinds are imported each year from China, Taiwan, Mexico, and Indonesia.
CPSC found that over time the plastic deteriorates from exposure to sunlight and heat to form lead dust on the surface of the blind. The amount of lead dust that formed from the deterioration varied from blind to blind.
In homes where children ages 6 and younger may be present, CPSC recommends that consumers remove these vinyl miniblinds. Young children can ingest lead by wiping their hands on the blinds and then putting their hands in their mouths. Adults and families with older children generally are not at risk because they are not likely to ingest lead dust from the blinds.
Lead poisoning in children is associated with behavioral problems, learning disabilities, hearing problems, and growth retardation. CPSC found that in some blinds, the levels of lead in the dust was so high that a child ingesting dust from less than one square inch of blind a day for about 15 to 30 days could result in blood levels at or above the 10 microgram per deciliter amount CPSC considers dangerous for young children.