The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Lead paint and gold profits

Aug 20, 2007

Last week, toy-maker Mattel recalled almost 19 million toys, blaming Chinese manufacturers for lead paint on the products. Lead paint is particularly dangerous for young children because it interferes with the development of their brain.

About 80% of children’s toys are made in China. And the reason is obvious: costs for these products made by near slave-labor in China are lower. Cheap cost is also why toy manufacturers use lead paint. Lead makes the paint brighter, more long-lasting, water resistant and is cheaper than other sources of color pigment.

Faced with all the bad publicity, Mattel is today pretending it had no idea that lead paint was used on the toys.

No idea?

Mattel has had the same Chinese supplier for 15 years. If Mattel didn’t know what that manufacturer was doing, that’s because Mattel didn’t want to know – so long as the profits rolled in!