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.