Lead ban and thrift stores

The federal government is cracking down harder to keep your kids safe from lead poisoning.

A law went into effect last week that bans all children's toys, clothing and jewelry containing lead.

But what about used items that may contain some levels of lead?

With the growing popularity of thrift stores, especially in this economy, we wanted to know how these new regulations will affect those businesses.

We found out more for this KHQA FactFinder Report.

A news release from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says stores that sell used children's products do not have to certify that those products meet the new lead limits.

Those stores do not have to test products for lead before selling them.

But here's the catch, the law does state those stores cannot sell products that exceed the lead limit.

And stores that do sell products with high lead levels could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

We spoke with a local thrift store owner who was very confused about the law and how it applies to his store.

We also called the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to try and clear up this confusion, but we have not received a call back.

We will continue to dig for the facts on this law and bring you more information as soon as we can.

But with garage sale season approaching and those thrift store sales booming, we wanted to make sure you can still keep your kids safe.

Many children's products containing lead were sold before the new lead law went into effect.

Those are the toys you may find at garage sales or in thrift stores.

You may also see a lot of older antique toys which are likely to have been painted with lead paint as well.

"People need to do their homework before they go garage sale shopping or to thrift stores," said John Douglas of Two Rivers Regional Council. "If you're going to buy toys remember that lead poisoning is caused by kids ingesting the lead. So you want to keep toys out of children's mouths and you don't want to give them a toy that possibly does have lead paint on it."

Douglas also says frequent hand washing after playing with toys is another way to keep kids from ingesting lead.

There is a complete list of recalled toys on the Center of Disease Control website at

It is a good idea to check this list before you go to a garage sale or thrift store.