Trouble in toyland: Potential source of lead

There was a recall of 45 million toys and other children’s products containing lead and other chemicals in 2007 in the US. It prompted the passing of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in August 2008. It gave much needed power for regulation by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The US Public Interest Research Group released the 24th annual survey of toy safety on 24 November 2009, just before the holiday shopping season.[1] It reported that “so far in 2009, CPSC has recalled nearly 1.3 million toys or other children’s products (including jewelry) for violations of the lead paint standard.”

The potential source of lead from these children’s products should be in­cluded in the non-occupational exposures noted in a recent article (“Occupational exposure to inorganic lead,” BCMJ 2009:51[9]:388). The author point­ed out “take-home” exposure could affect spouses and children. In this case, “home” exposure could contri­bute to the problem. 

In addition, working in manufacturing plants for these toys and jewelry should be included in taking past occupational history.

Besides the ayurvedic medications,[2] lead may be present as adult­erant in other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)/Asian patent medicine,[3] including Chinese patent medicine of herbal origin.[4]
—H.C. George Wong, MD

H.C. George Wong, MD, FRCPC. Trouble in toyland: Potential source of lead. BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. 1, January, February, 2010, Page(s) 10 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

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