Lawsuit pushes 2 bounce house suppliers to limit lead

February 23, 2011 5:28:09 PM PST
If your child plays in those inflatable structures known as bounce houses or jump houses, this story will be important to you. On Wednesday a major settlement was reached to lower the dangerous levels of lead found in many of them.

As most of us know, lead can slow brain development in children and yet, high levels were found in a place where kids can get the most exposure. Bounce houses are a popular staple at children's birthday parties. The Center for Environmental Health found lead in some of them up to 300 times federal standards.

The state attorney general filed suit against eight suppliers last August and now two major companies agreed to severely limit lead in their play structures. We're told that could make it safer for about half the bounce houses, but not all, so parents should wash children's hands anytime they play in them.

"If there is lead dust in the bounce house, they're going to get that dust on their hands and then when they finish with the bounce house, they're going to grab a piece of birthday cake and then that dust that is on their hands is going to end up in their mouth," said Caroline Cox from the Center for Environmental Health.

Under the settlement, the two manufacturers agreed to test their bounce houses that are already being rented out and replace dangerous ones.

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