Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Lead in Toys: Could It Be Lurking in Your Home?

While many dangerous toys have been recalled, lead has been found in some that haven't made any recall list. Here's what you need to know.

Lead in Toys: Effects of Lead Poisoning continued...

A recently published study from Cornell University showed that very small amounts of lead in children's blood -- amounts below the current federal standard of 10 mcg/dL -- are associated with reduced IQ scores at 6 years of age. The CDC recently confirmed that children with lead levels of less than 10 mcg/dL can suffer lowered IQ, speech delays, hearing loss, learning disabilities, slowed or reduced growth, and behavioral difficulties that range from hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder to violence and aggression.

According to the Cornell study, approximately one out of every 50 children in the U.S. between ages 1 and 5 has a blood lead level above 10 mcg/dL. Still, CDC figures show that the number of young children with lead levels of 10 mcg/dL or greater has steadily decreased since lead point was banned.

Public health advocates argue that any amount of lead poisoning is unacceptable. "The bottom line," says Richard Canfield, senior researcher in Cornell's division of nutritional sciences and senior author of the study, "is that lead is a persistent neurotoxin that causes brain damage. The fact that lead has been found in millions of toys, even toys specifically designed for children to put into their mouths, presents an unacceptable risk."

Lead in Toys: Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Keeping track of the mounting recalls can be daunting.

Joan Lawrence, a spokesman for the Toy Industry of America (TIA), recommends that parents take time to scrutinize the CPSC recall list at and then return or discard any items deemed unsafe. Parents should also sign up for email alerts from CPSC about future recalls. For additional safety tips and consumer safety advice, as well as current information about recalled toys, consumers can call the TIA's toll-free hotline or visit their web site at

The question many parents are asking, however, is not about recalled toys. It's what to do with all the toys sitting at home that haven't been recalled, but should be.

It's a legitimate concern. Although Rosen is hesitant to quantify possible exposure dangers from lead in toys, he believes that even one month of hand-to-mouth activity with a toy with lead is enough to create elevated blood lead levels. Jewelry, he says, is an even bigger risk.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd