Lead Paint found in Thomas the Tank Engines

Think buying high end toys is safe for the kids?

The affected Thomas toys were manufactured in China, which has come under fire recently for exporting a variety of goods, from pet food to toothpaste, that may pose safety or health hazards. “These are not cheap, plastic McDonald’s toys,” said Marian Goldstein of Maplewood, N.J., who spent more than $1,000 on her son’s Thomas collection, for toys that can cost $10 to $70 apiece. “But these are what is supposed to be a high-quality children’s toy.”

I’ve heard in the past that red paint or dye from Chinese products often have lead in it, but I haven’t seen that in American press, yet.

Also, the tail end of another story in the Health section of the NY Times about diethylene glycol (a poison found in anti-freeze) turning up mislabeled and poisoning people around the world.

In 1995, the same year babies began to die in Haiti, 284 barrels of a chemical labeled glycerin arrived in New York on container ships. Although the chemical was not intended for use in drugs, it was labeled 98 percent pure. An official with the company that bought the barrels, Dastech International, of Great Neck, N.Y., would later say, “It smelled like glycerin, it looked like glycerin.” But after one of its customers complained, Dastech took a closer look.

Although the chemical was labeled 98 percent pure glycerin, Dastech said in court records that the syrup actually contained sugar compounds — as well as diethylene glycol.

The exporter was Sinochem. Claiming that it was fleeced, Dastech tried to get its money back from the broker who arranged the sale, court records show.

It never did.