Vinyl Mini Blinds and Lead Poisoning: What You Should Know
According to tests done on imported vinyl mini blinds by U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), it was found that some of the materials can present lead poisoning hazard for young children. Lead is added to blinds to stabilize the plastic and retain color. It is advisable to exercise caution while handling and using imported vinyl blinds from China, Taiwan, Mexico and Indonesia.
Formation of Lead Dust on Vinyl Mini Blinds
After investigations, CPSC established that exposure of vinyl or plastic mini blinds cause their quality to deteriorate over time, as well as extreme temperatures. This results in formation of lead dust on the surface of the particular blind. It was also seen that the quantity of lead dust that formed varied from blind to blind.
Keep Children Safe
It is advisable not to use imported vinyl mini blinds in homes where there are children. The reason is that it is hard to ascertain for sure which type of blind poses the most threat or forms the least amount of lead dust. In this case, protect young ones in the home by keeping such material at bay.
For homes that already use vinyl blinds, CPSC advises consumers to remove them.
Effects of Lead Poisoning
Lead is a toxic substance with serious negative effects in the human body. It is particularly dangerous to young children, as their bodies are rapidly developing during this stage. They absorb and retain more lead more efficiently and small quantities of lead blood concentration can bring about serious health effects. Research shows that lead poisoning interferes with the central nervous system in kids.
Low levels of lead exposure may not pose obvious symptoms in children. However, it is known to have effects such as behavioral problems, learning disabilities, hearing problems, and growth retardation.
What You Can Do
If there have been vinyl mini blinds in the home, take young children for blood screening for lead. Seek medical assistance to treat and take care of the affected child or children. Do not hang vinyl mini blinds in the house, remove those that are still present, and place them in plastic garbage bags and dispose them safely.
It is advisable to clean the windows and surrounding areas where there were vinyl mini blinds. Use clean soapy water and a rug. Lastly, be on the look out when shopping for new blinds. Examine the package and look for labels such as Non-Leaded Formula or No Lead Added.