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In the first of two reports on toy safety, NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman looks at how the recent controversy over lead levels in toys is affecting consumer shopping this holiday season.
Now, the first of two reports on toxic toys by our economics correspondent Paul Solman. Tonight, he looks at lead levels.
So you've got Diego, huh? Isn't he cute?
PAUL SOLMAN, NewsHour Economics Correspondent:
A one-time testing of toys for lead at a mall in Rochester, New York with a state-of-the-art X-ray fluorescence spectrometer.
Yes, that's lead.
… 550 parts per million, completely legal in the U.S., but many think it's potentially toxic, because there's new evidence, as you'll see in a bit, that lead is dangerous at levels far below what the law allows.
If it's made in China, I mean, you wonder if it's lead.
American consumers have already been shopping scared this globalized holiday season due to the recall of some 25 million toys, mostly from China, which now supplies four-fifths or more of our playthings.
I've been trying to purchase things not made in China, but it's almost impossible to find anything that's not.
I've leaned away from buying more toys and getting more things like clothes or DVDs.
So now you are Gary "The Happy Pirate"?
GARY "THE HAPPY PIRATE" SMITH: That's me.
Gary "The Happy Private" Smith, a kids' entertainer, has run a toy drive for nine years. This is the first year, though, that he's testing for lead.
GARY "THE HAPPY PIRATE" SMITH: When the recalls started coming out, our warehouse, which has over 20,000 toys, has to be gone through to see if these toys are in there. But if I had a ship that day, I would have probably sailed and looked for someone.
You would have gone and sacked their corporate fortress?
GARY "THE HAPPY PIRATE" SMITH: Maybe pillage a little, yes, maybe.
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