Lead Aware Times

Lead Aware Times Volume 1 No. 1 ( ISSN 1440-4966)

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Beware the Teddy Bear

Teddy Bears and Dollies Eyes are Not Usually Thought of as Dangerous

A Teddy bear nearly killed a pet dog which attacked it was it self defence?

According to a caller to the Lead Advisory Service, the dog chewed on the Teddy bear, which was innocently sitting around. However, the dog appears to have got its comeuppance when it suffered a severe case of lead poisoning which nearly killed it.

The Teddy was stuffed with lead pellets. Why would anyone fill a Teddy with a belly-full of lead? You may well ask. According to the caller, "the bears can be plopped at any angle - that's why they use lead pellets". The caller also highlighted the danger to children. Though some doctors believe that small lead objects, such as sinkers and pellets pass straight through the intestinal tract, several documented cases of lead poisoning of children testify to the fact that they dont. Lead objects sit in the gut and the blood lead level continues to rise until the object is surgically removed.

As the caller said, "Babies suck things .. there are child-safe plastic beads which .. are non-toxic.

The LEAD Group called for any such bears found for sale to be reported to Customs, and questioned how these bears could have been allowed for sale in Australia.

The Lead Advisory Service have also heard about lead fishing weights being used as doll's "sleep eyes". Apparently its ingestible if the doll's head, which is made of porcelain, breaks open. According to a doll-making teacher, these would only be used in antique dolls, of which she estimated there would be 50 to 100 in the world.

The moral of the story take the lead from the Ted.

Living safely with lead tips for dogs

Do not chew on Teddy bears filled with lead pellets.
Do not dig in contaminated soil.
Find an alternative kennel when neighbours start renovating.

If your humans are planning to move to a mining or smelting community, follow the NHMRC guidelines, and if your blood lead exceeds 25 g/dL and "if exposure control is not possible, consider relocation".

For more information on leaded product recalls, go to lead poisoning hazard consumer product recalls

New Publications from the Lead Reference Centre (LRC)

See Lead Advisory Service News vol 1 no 1, 1997 for a full list of LRC publications. New publications which have been issued in the first 3 months of '98 are:

  • - Fact sheet: Lead in ceiling dust
  • - Fact sheet: Lead safe house keeping
  • - Fact sheet: Old lead paint
  • - Booklet: A guide for parents and families

All LRC publications are available from the Better Health Centre of the NSW Health Dept. (Phone (02) 9954 1193, Fax (02) 9955 5196).

References available from Lead Advisory Service (02) 9716 0014

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Last Updated 19 April 2012
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Phone: +61 2 9716 0014