I’m trying to find an interesting way to spin this recent story about inflatable bounce houses and how the amounts of lead found in them are unsafe for children. I mean, there’s no real safe lead exposure level for children, but let’s not go in that direction, since there’s also no safe hot dog level for children, and I have a feeling because of his genetics, my kid is going to love hot dogs.
The Center for Environmental Health, based in Oakland, CA recently tested various popular bounce houses and found an alarming range of 5,000 parts per million to 29,000 parts per million of lead in the vinyl (the existing federal limit is 90-300 parts per million) . The vinyl is made from PVC, which is made with lead. California Attorney General Jerry Brown also recently spearheaded a lawsuit against some of the manufacturers of the bounce houses, based on the CEH’s study.
So, not to bore you with the details, because they are boring and involve a lot of numbers – basically, the bottom line is that there’s no safe levels of lead, but there’s also no shortage of your friends throwing birthday parties with a bounce house. It’s like a parent’s dream – the kids can’t wait to get into it, and then they jumpkick the crap out of each other until they fall asleep. Chances are, you won’t see a reform in lead levels, since the only real motivation for a company to change their manufacturing process would be if people stopped renting the units.
In light of that, you can make sure you wash your children’s hands when they get out of those inflatable death traps. Wash your own hands too, especially if you’re pregnant. There’s no real way to avoid these things, and you’re a real dick if you’re the father that’s physically restraining your child from hopping into the castle and having fun with his friends at a party. So do your part, wash their hands, and know in your heart that your kid will probably die from some other environmental toxins long before the lead poisoning sets in.