It was high time Canada got the lead out

Dinky Toys on parade

I see that the nannies of Health Canada (the federal wellness Gestapo) have passed a law effectively outlawing lead content in toys. What next, I ask you, a ban on lead paint use for children’s cribs? Where will it all end? 

The reason for the ban evidently stems from a propensity for oral-fixated Canadian kids to stick playthings in their mouths. While we used to actually play with our little cars and trucks, modern kids, unused to any item that is not electronic, thrust them into their maws. Hmm. And in so doing there is always the possibility the toy might be swallowed. Ingestion of lead is stridently frowned upon by officialdom.

Funny, in all my childhood years I do not recall any kid having swallowed a little truck or car. We valued the possession of our playthings too much to put ourselves in the position of having to wait to poop them back out after a hearty ingestion of Castoria

Of course, in my early days my elders – who merrily smoked cigarettes with the windows rolled up in seatbelt less cars – didn’t worry about niceties like lead composition in our toys. Lead or not, we were considered lucky to have them and would have pointed out to us that our parents when children had to resort to playing with sticks, stones and bits of broken glass.

The new rules state that for toys designed for children under 3, the lead count can only be 0.009 per cent. So little? It hardly makes it worthwhile having any lead at all, does it?

Now, when I was a tot a very much-favored toy was one called the Dinky toy. These were considered crème-de-la crème of the genre of little models. Dinky Toys were wonderful. Neat little models of real cars, and boasting tiny rubber tires (tyres, since the company was English. Wee tyres/tires that could be removed and no doubt ingested by children. I don’t know if kids did eat them – mistaking them for licorice, perhaps – but no doubt the orally-fixated modern kid would just scarf them down.

Anyway, a bit of scrupulous and painstaking research on my part revealed that DT in their early days, were right up near the top in lead composition in the zinc alloy that made the bodies of the cars. I mean this company also made lead-soldiers as a sideline – that’s right, they came right out and called them ‘lead’ soldiers.

A lot of Dinky Toys were sold outside the UK, notably in the US and American health people complained about the inordinate amount of lead in the playthings. Consequently, the lead content was reduced for the export market. For Britain? I’m not sure. I mean, their kids were tougher, having lived through the Blitz and all. Maybe they thought a little extra lead wouldn’t hurt. I mean, when I lived in Britain in the early 1980s they were still pumping out leaded petrol like there was no tomorrow, despite the fact the US and Canada had moved towards unleaded.

Anyway, I would like to now reassure parents that since the new Canadian regs came into being, the tiny tots can suck away or even swallow their little cars and such with no threat whatsoever. What a grand society we live in. Keep going this way and none of us might ever die.


10 responses to “It was high time Canada got the lead out

  1. Keep going this way and none of us might ever die.

    Now there’s a scary thought!

  2. I hear what you’re saying and yet there is nothing wrong in reducing the risk of lead poisoning. I also collected Dinky toys and Corgi cars, which probably were oozing lead. And, yes, I didn’t suck these cars or swallowed them, I PLAYED with them.

    Remember, when we were growing up all the grown-ups smoked like there was no tomorrow and, in some cases, there wasn’t.

    My father, a journalist, writer, TV presenter, newspaper editor etc, smoked 80+ cigarettes a day. Really. The ceiling above his desk at home was nut brown (it emanated out until it was its usual white). And my father and his buddies all drank like fishes. My dad was dead by 70 but, at least, he had a ball. (He’d seen active service in WW2; married three times, had five children to my knowledge etc etc ).

    We now know that smoking is a very bad thing. But I smoked for 15 years or so; so did my wife. But I’m glad I gave up. I have friends who still smoke and that’s their choice. Good on ’em. I don’t like being ordered, by law, what I should or shouldn’t do.

    Oh well. Enough. Life moves on . . .

  3. I don’t remember being orally fixated on my toys either…
    As to smoking and drinking, my parents saw early graves, and while the idea of never dying does not appeal, I don’t want to hasten death stupidly either.

  4. Dinky toys, Corgi toys, Tonka toys. Plastic animals. Tinker toys. Lego. Loved them all and, to my knowledge, never ate or licked any of them either. FCOL. When will people just take some responsibility for themself (ves). Dumdad, your comment reminds me just a bit like Madmen!

  5. Aauugghh!!! We’re all gonna DIE!!!!!

  6. No wonder today’s kids can only stare at small screens and occasionally exercise their thumbs – the powers that be have taken all the good old toys away!

  7. Maybe you don’t remember chewing on things but I remember having an affinity for school chalk. Hopefully it was just that – chalk. And lead-free.

  8. What pinklea said! It’s bizarre that the State has put in place all these regulations about what kids can and cannot do and yet a parent is frightened to tell a child off forcefully in public for misbehaving for fear of being jumped on for abuse. It’s as if the Government want to protect kids by proxy and just encourages lazy parenting with kids allowed to sit in front of the tv or computer all day.

    Like you guys, I never sucked my toys – I had a thumb for that – but I do know of friends’ children who have stuck small objects up their noses!

  9. Wouldn’t have dared suck or ingest a toy…would have been reminded sharpish that such things cost money even if the idea had occurred to me.
    Which it didn’t…toys were for playing with…until they were taken away without warning to be passed on to younger cousins on the grounds that I had grown out of them…
    I wish to put it on record that I had not grown out of my red steam engine when it was taken from me.

  10. I remember those long road trips in smoke-filled cars with closed windows, unbelted and bouncing on the seat, well. People didn’t worry about children much at all in those days.

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