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McDonald's, Cadmium, and Thermo Electron Niton Guns

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the got-one-on-my-swiss-army-knife dept.

Science 206

An anonymous reader writes, snipping from a story at NPR: "'How did the Consumer Products Safety Commission find out that cadmium, a toxic metal, was present on millions of Shrek drinking glasses now being recalled by McDonald's? Well, an anonymous person with access to some pretty slick testing equipment tipped off Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) about the problem. Her office confirmed that somebody using a Thermo Electron Niton XRF testing gun found a lot of cadmium, sometimes used in yellow pigments, on the surface of the glasses. The source overnighted glasses to Speier's office last week, which then turned over the test results and specimens to the CPSC. ... By law, no more than 75 parts per million of cadmium is supposed to be present in paint on kids toys. Speier's office said the amount found on the glasses was quite a bit higher than that.' Seems like the answer to a previous question about at-home science — this blogger seems to have been one of the anonymous sources."

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206 comments

Yay science! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465044)

Science, saving the world one experiment at a time.

The answer, for the source, is simple... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465062)

people forget that a Thermo Electron Niton XRF testing gun now comes in every Happy Meal.

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465154)

I'm still waiting for them to include nuclear particle accelerators [wikipedia.org] . Imagine what fun these would be at parties. :) They'd be so much more exciting that cadmium laced drinking glasses with silly cartoons painted on them.

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (1)

Dayofswords (1548243) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465190)

bada ba ba ba ba baaaa!
I'm zapping it!

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465742)

You've got an extra 'ba' :P

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465948)

WILD SLOGAN NAZI APPEARED

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466168)

That's not a slogan. That's a jingle.

Yea yea, say what you want. But I do audio stuff, so I'd know this kind of thing :P

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (2, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465256)

people forget that a Thermo Electron Niton XRF testing gun now comes in every Happy Meal.

Which would really suck when my kids get annoyed that I want to play with their Happy Meal toy.

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465504)

people forget that a Thermo Electron Niton XRF testing gun now comes in every Happy Meal.

Which would really suck when my kids get annoyed that I want to play with their Happy Meal toy.

if they were smart theyd be annoyed at you for feeding them shit for food and turning them into future fatasses, all because McDonalds turned them into little salesmen by putting a stupid clown and a dinky playground in their stores. you can practice now by teaching them to say "i'm just big boned" or "its genetic and the fact that i eat more calories than i burn has absolutely nothing to do with it". fatass.

Cease and Desist (3, Funny)

McDonalds (1826428) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466362)

feeding them shit for food and turning them into future fatasses
Our food is only 5% shit by weight, and it takes more than just food to turn them into greasy, overweight nerds - specifically, you need WOW and a good internet connection.

a stupid clown and a dinky playground
Yeah? Let's see your clown and playground! From what your girlfriend says, you're the clown, and calling your "playground" dinky would be a compliment.

"i'm just big boned" or "its genetic"
Hey, your Mom liked my big bone, and that kind of thing is genetic. Sorry the "enhancement" ads lied to you, little anonymous coward.

- McDonalds

Re:The answer, for the source, is simple... (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465374)

people forget that a Thermo Electron Niton XRF testing gun now comes in every Happy Meal.

Except in Santa Clara, of course, where Happy Meal toys were outlawed with no appreciation of their scientific usefulness!

I'm betting (1, Informative)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465068)

The glasses were made in China.

Re:I'm betting (5, Informative)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465090)

The glasses were made in China.

I'd take that bet. Because they were made in New Jersey. (ARC International, based in Millville, N.J.)

Re:I'm betting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465128)

It does seem like it apparently. But I wonder where the paint came from? Not that all problems with products are limited to China, certainly. But they do seem to produce quite a lot of shoddy, tainted things (paint on toys, toothpaste, etc., etc.).

Re:I'm betting (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465138)

Company located there does not mean product made there. Have you not been paying attention for the last forty years?

Re:I'm betting (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465868)

Yeah, but most of the time it's "company in <not china> has problems because <some plant in china> did some illegal shit". I don't think that many companies based out of china turn their manufacturing over to the US or other countries, is usually the other way around.

Re:I'm betting (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466082)

Was there a point to your post? I can't tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing with your parent--if the latter you're a moron, because your post makes no sense, and if the former, why post at all?

Re:I'm betting (5, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465156)

Only the North American subsidiary is based in NJ. The company is based in France. From 2.5 seconds of fact-finding:

Arc International employs 12,200 people worldwide including 8000 in France. The group, whose head office is located in Arques, in the French Pas-de-Calais region...

But you are correct that the glasses were manufactured in NJ.

multi sourced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465396)

But you are correct that the glasses were manufactured in NJ.

Perhaps the glasses are manufactured in NJ, but decorated in China?

Re:I'm betting (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466096)

But you are correct that the glasses were manufactured in NJ.

Just goes to show that the wonders of unregulated cutthroat profit-chasing capitalism are the same, whether in China or in US. It's just that it's easier to buy oneself out of regulation in China due to higher corruption. But there's no lack of desire to do the same on part of US companies...

Re:I'm betting (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466186)

We don't know where all the components come from though. Perhaps the sand/whatever itself was contaminated, or one of the other additives. Or someone was just a dumbass and put cadmium in it for some reason.

How far down the rabbit hole do you go though? That's the harder question to answer.

T1 supplier: it's raw material, use it for whatever.
T2 supplier: it's been processed somewhat. don't use it for foodstuffs etc.
T3 supplier: here's this stuff we found cheap.
T4 supplier: here's this stuff mixed with other stuff we found sorta cheap.
T5 supplier: here's this glass-making stuff.
Cup-maker: wtf, cadmium?
-or-
Cup-maker: herp-derp lets toss some cadmium in there

Sure. the blame may be at the end of the chain, but it might not either. It could be anywhere along the line. Somewhere, someone made a mistake... but was it an honest one?

Re:I'm betting (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465162)

Do you have a link? ARC international is based in France.

"Arc International employs 12, 200 people worldwide including 8000 in France. The group, whose head office is located in Arques, in the French Pas-de-Calais region, achieved a turnover of 1 billion Euros in 2009. Armed with its know how in glassware, it developed globally and diversified its activities through the integration of materials other than glass.

Arc International is present in five continents with production sites (France, USA, China, UAE), distribution subsidiaries (France, US, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan) and sales offices."

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/arc-international-reacts-to-the-recall-of-mcdonalds-products-95655644.html [prnewswire.com]

AHA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465762)

Arc International is present in five continents with production sites (France, USA, China, UAE), distribution subsidiaries (France, US, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan) and sales offices."

A smoking gun if ever I saw one!

(We're blaming China for all our problems this week, aren't we?)

Re:I'm betting (4, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465300)

Unless you work for the company and can confirm they didn't use their Chinese manufacturing plant, it's still up in the air.

    the press release [prnewswire.com]

Arc International is present in five continents with production sites (France, USA, China, UAE), distribution subsidiaries (France, US, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan) and sales offices.

    I'd suspect small production runs and urgent items are produced locally (or relatively locally). Large low cost runs with plenty of lead time, like McDonalds would want, would likely be produced in China.

Re:I'm betting (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465400)

Large low cost runs with plenty of lead time, like McDonalds would want, would likely be produced in China.

I misread that as "low cost runs with plenty of lead" - which would also likely be produced in China.

Re:I'm betting (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465450)

    I wouldn't be surprised if there was lead(Pb) too. :)

Re:I'm betting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465508)

maybe even some Ba4Co2N

Re:I'm betting (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465604)

    Do you want fries with that?

    Mmmmm.. Fill the glass with bacon, fries, and fried burger squeezings. You don't have to worry about the cadmium, that's a heart attack in a glass. Oh, who am I kidding, pretty much anything at McD shortens your lifespan by about a year per serving.

    Why is my chest feeling tight? And my right arm is starting to hurt. I must just be hungry, let me finish this ultramegasupersize Bigmac, and everything will be ok.

Re:I'm betting (2, Funny)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465356)

The glasses were made in China.

I'd take that bet. Because they were made in New Jersey. (ARC International, based in Millville, N.J.)

ahhhhh... new jersey. the china of the west.

Re:I'm betting (5, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465132)

The glasses were made in China.

My wife works as an architect on small retail projects. One client of hers made a trip to China and bought a container load of material to fit out their project. So an electrician drills into a partition, hits asbestos and shuts the site down.

They lost a lot of money trying to save money on partitions. The funny thing is that the partition in question had stickers on it saying absolutely no asbestos. I guess there had to be a reason for that.

Re:I'm betting (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465344)

    That was a good plan (business wise). Too bad they'll slap on labels that are absolute lies. It's a good reason to buy American. At least she could have sued the vendor.

    Was the label in English, or Engrish? :)

Re:I'm betting (5, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465578)

Ah well I am an Australian and my wife is Malaysian. Most of her customers are asian and believe in always getting the Best Deal (tm). My mother in law needed a tooth removed and would have paid 500 AUD for the job so she flew to Malaysia (which she was going to do anyway) and got it done for ten bucks (our money). She doesn't need all that modern sterilisation and anaesthetics. Those things were obviously invented to trick smart people like her out of their savings.

In Malaysia once I saw this nice watch in a street market. We drove the price down from 50RM to 10RM. Then the vendor took the case apart to install a battery. I realised later that he just put the 10RM movement in. We weren't really bargaining, just choosing.

I am sure the warning was in Engrish. The shipment should have been flagged in customs, but its not hard to get lucky there, especially if the paperwork from china looks okay.

Re:I'm betting (2, Interesting)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465654)

In some cases it isn't that way, though. My dad was working in Egypt for about 10 years and in at least some cases, he said the dentists there were at least equal to the best dentists he's ever had Stateside, but at a much lower price. I suppose you could take that to mean he's had terrible dentists over here, but in his experience they were often American trained and seemed to do a good job. Though there were some exceptions, the same as you'd have here (you find a good one, you keep going back, and if not you never go back again).

Re:I'm betting (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465706)

The standard deviation in ability and price varies from place to place, in line with the amount and strength of regulation. There are very good private hospitals in Malaysia and they charge a lot of money, but less than you would pay elsewhere. There are also very cheap places which cut corners. They exist because they are not subject to the level of regulation you would see in some other countries.

I don't doubt your point about dentists in Egypt and I am not trying to rubbish medical care in the third world generally. My point is that some people will argue the prices down on things to a ridiculous degree and when that happens the supplier will be there to fill the market.

what kind of paperwork (1)

nten (709128) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465690)

The boring kind, or the fun kind with pictures of dead folks and Illuminati imagery? More specifically is the problem with corruption, not enough spot checks, too much import volume, or all of the above?

Re:I'm betting (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465432)

The glasses were made in China.

I'm betting you're wrong.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_he_me/us_cadmium_shrek [yahoo.com]

All the recalled jewelry was made in China. The drinking glasses are the first American-made products to be recalled.

[U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman] Wolfson said the recalled glasses have "far less cadmium" than the recalled jewelry. He would not say how much cadmium leached from the glasses in tests, only that it was "slightly above the protective level currently being developed by the agency."

Arc is a French company with a plant in New Jersey ; its origins as a glassmaker date to 1825. The company said that it has been making glasses for McDonald's for 15 years and that levels of cadmium used in the enamel baked into the glass were within current federal safety guidelines.

Biagi, Arc's vice president of North American sales, said the company was surprised and confused when it got word of the recall Thursday night.

I'm not sure why the product is being recalled based on CPSC standards that don't actually exist yet.
I'm guessing it's because a Congresswoman got involved and everyone went into cover-your-ass mode.

Re:I'm betting (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466126)

They're recalling them in Canada, too, even though a rushed testing showed that everything is in compliance with local laws (so now there is fuss about updating the standards). Apparently, it was the decision of McDonalds itself, to deal with bad publicity surrounding this.

Re:I'm betting (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466192)

They may still have gotten the enamel made in China, then assembled into the final glasses in Jersey, given that the company has a Chinese plant.

Re:I'm betting (-1, Redundant)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465470)

I'm betting you're wrong
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_he_me/us_cadmium_shrek [yahoo.com]

The drinking glasses are the first American-made products to be recalled.

[U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman] Wolfson said the recalled glasses have "far less cadmium" than the recalled jewelry. He would not say how much cadmium leached from the glasses in tests, only that it was "slightly above the protective level currently being developed by the agency."

Arc is a French company with a plant in New Jersey ; its origins as a glassmaker date to 1825. The company said that it has been making glasses for McDonald's for 15 years and that levels of cadmium used in the enamel baked into the glass were within current federal safety guidelines.

Biagi, Arc's vice president of North American sales, said the company was surprised and confused when it got word of the recall Thursday night.

"Our feeling is these glasses are safe," Biagi said.

None of which explains why there's a recall for standards that don't actually exist yet.
I'm guessing everyone went into cover-your-ass mode when they heard a Congresswoman involved.

Re:I'm betting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465824)

I'm betting you're wrong http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_he_me/us_cadmium_shrek [yahoo.com]

The drinking glasses are the first American-made products to be recalled.

[U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman] Wolfson said the recalled glasses have "far less cadmium" than the recalled jewelry. He would not say how much cadmium leached from the glasses in tests, only that it was "slightly above the protective level currently being developed by the agency."

Arc is a French company with a plant in New Jersey ; its origins as a glassmaker date to 1825. The company said that it has been making glasses for McDonald's for 15 years and that levels of cadmium used in the enamel baked into the glass were within current federal safety guidelines.

Biagi, Arc's vice president of North American sales, said the company was surprised and confused when it got word of the recall Thursday night.

"Our feeling is these glasses are safe," Biagi said.

None of which explains why there's a recall for standards that don't actually exist yet. I'm guessing everyone went into cover-your-ass mode when they heard a Congresswoman involved.

One post at 7:44pm [slashdot.org] and another identical post [slashdot.org] at 7:49pm. Can you wait another five minutes and post that a third time please? I'm not so sure I got it after the second time. If that's not convenient, ten or fifteen minute increments would also be acceptable.

Re:I'm betting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465946)

If they were made in China, the headline would read "Chinese poisons America!"

Anonymous? (0, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465084)

Write Jen a letter asking who the other tipster was.... Jennifer Taggart
2317 Warmouth St.
San Pedro, California 90732
United States

Re:Anonymous? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465164)

My guess is that the glasses and the tip come from the same source. Best for all of us if that person remains anonymous.

Re:Anonymous? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465482)

Why?

Is McDonalds going to hire a hit man?

Why would the tipster contact an elected official rather than the CPSC directly? After all, they have a web page just for this process: http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html [cpsc.gov]

Was there some political motivation in going thru an elected official? Is this an insider?, a Competitor? Does it matter?

Re:Anonymous? (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465598)

Is McDonalds going to hire a hit man?

No, but the tipster wants to say employed. They no doubt have a family to feed.

Re:Anonymous? (3, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465182)

Write Jen a letter asking who the other tipster was.... Jennifer Taggart

Why? Clearly the tipster wants to be anonymous.

Delicious, nutritious, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465094)

heavy metals.

I want to eat all the Heavy Metal I can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465650)

Cuz I don't hafta pay for grills on my teeef. I wanna earn the bling bling like they earned gold back in the sand-panning.

Home Science? (4, Interesting)

ReneeJade (1649107) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465118)

Doesn't it seem more likely that the original discoverer worked in a different professional lab, rather than having that sort of equipment at home?

Re:Home Science? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466098)

Whats a few thousand $ to a middle class US family?
Blogs and news reports have talked of this device and anyone can learn to use it.
From hand held testing in a scrap yards to suburbia - equipment is now much cheaper.
The gov is not testing, the companies dance around 'limits' and law makers set few binding targets.

Home Labs? (5, Insightful)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465136)

This isn't an argument supporting the validity of "home labs." Those handheld XRFs are about $30K. I'd love to have one in MY home lab, where the most expensive equipment is a $300 distillation kit that I had to save for six months to justify.

Re:Home Labs? (2, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465372)

Well!

Some geeks' home labs are more equal than others. Now, back to winding the coils for my particle accelerator... (Did you know you can get 440 wired residential without a permit?)

Re:Home Labs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465416)

> (Did you know you can get 440 wired residential without a permit?)

No shit? Just like that, from the pole?

Re:Home Labs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465738)

(Did you know you can get 440 wired residential without a permit?)

Yeah, but you need to use an insulated ladder and cable splicer if you don't want to end up on YouTube.

Re:Home Labs? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465840)

(Did you know you can get 440 wired residential without a permit?)

Yeah, but you need to use an insulated ladder and cable splicer if you don't want to end up on YouTube.

That'd be a lot more likely to end up on Darwin Awards [darwinawards.com] .

Re:Home Labs? (3, Informative)

functor0 (89014) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465602)

Well, the "Smart Mama" (Jennifer Taggert) is someone that actually makes money through her XRF gun. According to the site below, she charges $5 per test or $100 per hour.

http://www.thesmartmama.com/xrf-testing/

Here's a media article where two families paid her to test their toys:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/25/AR2009122501674.html

Re:Home Labs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465974)

No, not your mad scientist lab....

There are a surprising number of small XRF analyzers in home use and the number has grown remarkably during the last two years. You see, XRF provides a quick way to assay precious metals like gold.
It is not foolproof and it can be defeated, but it is very reliable and accurate in experienced hands.

Yes new ones are a bit expensive, but so is gold.

Re:Home Labs? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466040)

what makes XRF sexy is that you can test the samples over and over unlikely methods which destroy the sample to test it.

Re:Home Labs? (2, Interesting)

ukemike (956477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466290)

It's more complicated than that. There are two types of Niton XRFs. The most common type which has been around for a while use a radioactive source (ironically Cd109). The the sources have a fairly short half life so must be replaced every other year or so, and cost thousands of dollars. These sources are VERY strictly regulated requiring licensing at the state level and access to inspectors. There are storage and transport requirements, etc. Most likely the person is an environmental consultant (like me) and has access to one at work, or is a geologist and has access to one at work. It is unlikely that any individuals own one of these.

The other newer type of XRF uses some sort of x-ray tube to generate the radiation and does not have all the licensing requirements but costs even more $$.

Just in Time! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465150)

More fake news from anonymous testers on corporations violating standards.
Now what about the Economy?

Sure oil can be sucked out of the spill, but why
do we need to watch the Janitors of the Oceans?

Now what about the Economy?
Solar flares, you don't say?
Planet-X?
Now what about the Economy?

So Barry Sotoro is realy the stunt double of Barack Hussein Obama?

Now what about the Economy?
Sinkholes in Guatemala? That happened last year too.
Now what about the Economy?

How about Larry Silverstein collecting insurance for his building being demolished by Demolition Crews in the same day the World Trade Center Towers were supposedly non-demolished by Passenger jets full of non-smelting Jet Fuel? I know Jet Fuel is just enhanced Diesel that can't smelt iron because it burns too low of temperature, it just sounds more dangerous when I say Jet Fuel instead.

POLL:
[0] What about the Economy?
[X] Gary Coleman died.
[X] Uh Oh, Yahoo copying shit, Americunts!
[X] CowboyNeal.

How did the US government miss this? (0, Flamebait)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465172)

A two trillion dollar budget, and still they miss this.

It used to be that public safety was the number one purpose and concern of the government. I guess poisoning children is less important now than making sure those with political power get bailed out. Children don't vote, after all. Well, except maybe in Chicago.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (4, Informative)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465274)

A two trillion dollar budget, and still they miss this.

It used to be that public safety was the number one purpose and concern of the government. I guess poisoning children is less important now than making sure those with political power get bailed out. Children don't vote, after all. Well, except maybe in Chicago.

They probably missed it because it isn't above any established standard. The glasses were voluntarily recalled because a tougher standard may be pending. CNN [cnn.com] has a poorly edited story about it.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (5, Insightful)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465320)

You're right. We should expect the government to test every product made for children for sale in this country...for all known toxins...before they go on sale. Of course if it did then you'd complain about the Obama nanny state stealing your money with excessive income tax.

What color is the sky in your world?

Re:How did the US government miss this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465424)

You're right. We should expect the government to test every product made for children for sale in this country...for all known toxins...before they go on sale. Of course if it did then you'd complain about the Obama nanny state stealing your money with excessive income tax.

You'd actually probably have to test every single toy, not just each product. Manufacturers are notorious for cherry picking which samples get sent for testing and reviewing.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466062)

You're right. We should expect the government to test every product made for children for sale in this country...for all known toxins...before they go on sale. Of course if it did then you'd complain about the Obama nanny state stealing your money with excessive income tax.

You'd actually probably have to test every single toy, not just each product. Manufacturers are notorious for cherry picking which samples get sent for testing and reviewing.

That's why you test random samples from shipped product before you clear the product for entry and distribution.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (1)

RavenousBlack (1003258) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465466)

Really, the government should require the companies to test these things instead of having the government completely involved in babying every toy company. Then when they slip up make them pay dearly. Making sure everything that reaches us is safe shouldn't be the direct responsibility of the government, rather making sure it's the companies that deliver these products to us responsibility.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465772)

What color is the sky in your world?

Red white or blue depending on what the chemical manufacturing plant next to my house is making.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (2, Insightful)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466020)

So what do we do instead? What are the systems in place to prevent... oh none. OK. So surely there is a system in place to punish... oh, no? OK, so we leave it to the courts? OH, the CEO and officers in the company can't be held liable in any way what so ever? So then what stops them from using a profit motive to justify poisoning people? Nothing. Well alright then, lets go ahead and just move along, nothing to see here.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (4, Insightful)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466070)

So what do we do instead?

We have laws that specify tolerance levels, sample occasionally, and slap them silly if they get caught - hopefully hard enough that the overwhelming majority will feel it's not worth the risk.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466248)

"slap them silly", by which you mean, take a small cut of the profit.

CAPTCHA is: customs

Re:How did the US government miss this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466100)

They scan every passenger before they board the plane... That wouldn't be much of a stretch..

Re:How did the US government miss this? (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466170)

You're right. We should expect the government to test every product made for children for sale in this country.

Yes, absolutely, and I say this as a leftie who considers Obama to be a populist corporate shill. The whole point of giving the government enough powers to run a social welfare state is so that it deals with problems like this.

for all known toxins.

We're not talking about some rare and exotic poison here, but rather some very basic stuff. It's not the first time it happens, either.

So, yeah, someone in the govt clearly didn't do their job while happily wasting taxpayers' money, and should be called out for that.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465388)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) requests $107,000,000
for fiscal year 2010

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/reports/2010plan.pdf [cpsc.gov]

and still they miss this

Maybe if they really DID have a two trillion dollar budget, they could afford to test every single object ever sold anywhere in the US.

Until then, buy yourself a $30k x-ray gun and trust nobody.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465692)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) requests $107,000,000 for fiscal year 2010

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/reports/2010plan.pdf [cpsc.gov]

and still they miss this

Maybe if they really DID have a two trillion dollar budget, they could afford to test every single object ever sold anywhere in the US.

Until then, buy yourself a $30k x-ray gun and trust nobody.

You invalidated your own statement and didn't even know it. Here, let me show you the utility of basic reading comprehension.

The point was, the federal budget is around $2 trillion. In case you find that confusing, this means more than just the one agency called the CPSC. See how the GP never once claimed that the CPSC alone gets that $2 trillion all to itself? Good, so now you realize you aren't actually contradicting the GP and certainly aren't pointing out anything useful. You should have known that since the CPSC's $107 million budget that you mentioned yourself is less than $2 trillion. That should have been your cue to notice that maybe you misunderstood the GP and are about to make a completely redundant post. But that'd be far too sensical.

The point the GP was making, my dear Special Education student, was that CPSC is such a low priority for the feds that it only receives a small share of that total $2 trillion budget. For comparison, the trillion dollars given to bail out banks is almost 9,346 times more money than what we spend towards making sure people don't get poisoned by defective products. Therefore, public safety is no longer the number one concern of our government. THAT was the point.

Most voters think like you do. Therefore we have the government we know today. See the connection?

Re:How did the US government miss this? (0, Redundant)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466102)

Good, so now you realize you aren't actually contradicting the GP

No shit!

and certainly aren't pointing out anything useful

You invalidated your own statement and didn't even know it. You used the numbers I cited from the budget in your attempt to flame me, therefore my post with the CPSC budget was useful, at least to trolls like you. Maybe if the GP had actually posted the CPSC budget numbers, my post would have been redundant.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466312)

you said "maybe if they [CPSC] really did have a two trillion dollar budget", as though a claim were made that they had this, necessitating your explanation that they don't really have such a large budget. no such claim was made that they had this. all you did was perform a 2 second google search to get an actual number that in no way changes the principle that was being expounded. you say i wanted to flame you like you're really that noteworthy or important. no, you were just that useless and redundant. harder to admit i realize, but true all the same. you can stop trying to play it off now, it isn't fooling anyone. thank you for playing.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465414)

It sounds like you want a RoHS law like Europe? That's pretty much the only way to be sure.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465434)

I would suspect years of defunding regulators and appointing industry allies in key enforcement positions.

It's SOP for the GOP. Cases in point:
MMS and Deepwater Horizon [nytimes.com] . ("The reports portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch.")

Tax enforcement [npr.org] ("over the past dozen years, staff at the Internal Revenue Service has shrunk by about 20 percent. That affects the agency's ability to catch people who cheat on their taxes. One estimate of the annual loss in tax revenue is $300 billion.") And before anyone apologist says, "BV-b-but C-C-Clinton!", tell me who ran the House and Senate? That's right, the GOP. [newsweek.com]

As I've already pointed out [slashdot.org] , when you vote anti-government, you get sabotaged government. So let me take a page out of the right's rhetorical playbook and ask them, "Why do you hate America?"

Re:How did the US government miss this? (0)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465926)

Tax enforcement [npr.org] ("over the past dozen years, staff at the Internal Revenue Service has shrunk by about 20 percent. That affects the agency's ability to catch people who cheat on their taxes. One estimate of the annual loss in tax revenue is $300 billion.") And before anyone apologist says, "BV-b-but C-C-Clinton!", tell me who ran the House and Senate? That's right, the GOP. [newsweek.com]

It's rather pointless to talk about the IRS and progressive income taxes. Those are hardly sufficient to fund the federal budget and are there mostly for show, to divert attention. It's like that saying about how the President exists not to wield power, but to distract attention away from it.

The biggest tax we all pay is inflation. Instead of taking your money, they take its value. It's the most regressive tax of all, helping to devalue the savings and investments on which upward social mobility depends. How does a poor person become middle-class, or a middle-class person become rich, if they are greatly hindered from working to build wealth over time? Incidentally, the whole mortgage crisis was all about real wealth like real estate and other holdings being transferred to the same banks that participate in that Federal Reserve system because the people could not repay the fiat money the bank created on the spot, out of thin air, in order to become the lienholder. "Fractional Reserve Banking" makes for a great research topic and the Federal Reserve itself has historically been amazingly frank about its activities if you care to investigate how this works.

As I've already pointed out [slashdot.org], when you vote anti-government, you get sabotaged government.

There are not two parties. There is ONE party, the Big Government Party, with separate branches each trying to exert ever-increasing control over your life.
-- Judge Napolitano, freedomwatch.com

Which candidate from a faction (Democrats or Republicans) of that one party, or if you find that too radical, from the reigning duopoly, would really wish to decrease the power and influence that comes from holding public office? So long as we have career politicians who must have the blessing of the major parties to stand a chance of federal election, what we get is a self-reinforcing system of the fox guarding the henhouse.

So let me take a page out of the right's rhetorical playbook and ask them, "Why do you hate America?"

Because for running America into the ground, they are rewarded with prestige and respect and wealth and power and a media presence that makes them almost larger-than-life. What more could a fevered ego desire? Failing to speak against them, voting for them, looking up to them, taking their lying words and commercials and campaigns at face value, or believing that anyone from parties that are manifestly statist/pro-government (however you wish to say it) really want to reduce the government from which they derive their livelihood serves one purpose: it reinforces them, legitimizes them, supports them, and tells them that they're alright and must be doing a great job since we have such a high incumbency rate. Of course if we had any real variety of political philosophies which all stood a viable chance at winning elections, that incumbency rate would not be the case.

Re:How did the US government miss this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466324)

People who don't have liquid assets* aren't affected by inflation, and people who owe money are actually better off after inflation. Why do we keep hearing that inflation is bad? because it will reduce the wealth if rich people.

* Liquid assets are money or things that can easily be converted into money. For example, your trust fund is a liquid asset, and inflation will make it so you may have to take a part-time job to supplement your income. However, your house, car, computer and air conditioner are not liquid assets. Their prices will increase with inflation, except for your computer, which has no resale value ;]

Re:How did the US government miss this? (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465556)

Congratulations! You hit every tired political meme across the entire political spectrum. Brilliant!

On the Bright Side... (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465392)

Since these glasses will be recalled, and probably not a lot were sold, they'll become an interesting deadly item for collectors.

Re:On the Bright Side... (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465954)

I agree. I'm going to get some to put next to my radioactive Fiestaware and cadmium laced Miley Cyrus jewelry.

XRF is not a replacment for labratory testing. (4, Informative)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465442)

I sometimes use it to analyze soil samples in the field. Since you aren't necessarily shooting a homogeneous substance, you sometimes get results that don't reflect the overall concentration. To get meaningful data you have to send it to a fixed lab where they will extract it and get an analytical result that is more likely to reflect the real concentration.

Re:XRF is not a replacment for labratory testing. (4, Informative)

Penicillus (755795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465814)

I sometimes use it to analyze soil samples in the field. Since you aren't necessarily shooting a homogeneous substance, you sometimes get results that don't reflect the overall concentration. To get meaningful data you have to send it to a fixed lab where they will extract it and get an analytical result that is more likely to reflect the real concentration.

Actually, XRFs are commonly used by industrial hygienists to determine concentrations of lead (Pb) in lead paint. In fact, the new renovation, repair and paint (RRP) law that went into effect on April 22 assumes lead is in paint on homes built before 1981, unless the paint is measured to be less than 0.5% lead. The best way to do so (per EPA) is to use an XRF to determine whether lead is present or not, and what its concentration is. Alternatively, paint chips can be analyzed for lead in a laboratory; however, one can obtain 200-300 measurements for lead in a building with an XRF, whereas one may take 10-20 paint chip samples in the same time. What I'm guessing happened is than an IH used an XRF on a glass that his/her kid brought home from McDonalds and found some aberrant spectra - the IH took those readings further, and found the spectra matched cadmium. He/She then sent the glass with the readings to the Congresswoman. Given that cadmium has been substituted for lead in kid's toys, etc. (which was prohibited by law), and cadmium is considerably more toxic than lead, the Congresswoman had the glass tested, and the recall began.

and with a few hundred thousand in campaign funds (4, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465568)

...we end up with Thermo Electron Niton XRF testing guns being illegal to possess in the US.

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465618)

I used these guns before, though quite expensive for what you get, they have accuracy issues (due to how you place the sample near the tip... nothing to get all excited about. I am sure a standard XRF would have given the same results.

Lemme guess, made in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465620)

Anyone know where these glasses where manufactured?

China would not be a surprise.

xrf and lead-based paint -a correction (1)

Penicillus (755795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465874)

Correction - the paint on homes is considered lead based paint if the house was built earlier than 1978. FWIW, lead based paint is considered 0.5% Pb or greater by weight and any paint with lesser quantities of lead is considered lead-containing paint. HUD housing regulations for lead paint kick in when children 0-6 are present, and OSHA considers any lead in paint to be covered by the lead exposure standard.

Made in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465900)

Made in New Jersey to be specific.

When an offending product is imported from China, the media proclaims the source in banner headlines. But when it is an American-made product, the source is buried in the bowels of the story - if at all.

All 12 million is these cadmium-tainted bad boys were made in New Jersey by ARC International. Yes, they are the same company that makes Pyrex glassware.

Re:Made in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466128)

The company you are referring to may be based in NJ but they use worldwide manufacturing locations. One of which is in China. No one has said they were made in the US.

I'm still betting these were made in China.

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