In 2005, when government scientists tested 60 soft, vinyl lunchboxes, they found that one in five contained amounts of lead that medical experts consider unsafe — and several had more than 10 times hazardous levels.The original test results didn't come to light until the AP filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
But that's not what they told the public.
Instead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released a statement that they found "no instances of hazardous levels." And they refused to release their actual test results, citing regulations that protect manufacturers from having their information released to the public.
"I don't think the Consumer Product Safety Commission has lived up to its role to protect kids from lead," said Dr. Bruce Lamphear, a lead poisoning specialist at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. "As a public agency, their work should be transparent. And if one is to err on the side of protecting children rather than protecting lunch box makers, then certainly you would want to lower the (lead) levels."