Several environmental groups have reported that lead has been found in some brass fixtures at Disneyland. The fixtures referred to are railings chains and stanchions. High lead levels were detected afer the fixtures were swabbed and samples were analyzed. The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation Ecological Rights Foundation and the Center for Environmental Health were all involved in the lead discovery. They said children visiting the park could be exposed to the heavy metal by touching the fixtures.
“The health effects of lead of our concern have to do with a child’s developing brain. What we are hoping Disney would do is to take steps to make sure kids won’t be exposed to lead.” said Caroline Cox, a spokesperson for the Center for Environmental Health. (Source OCRegister.com)
Apparently one of the swab tests showed high lead levels in a dining area at Village Haus restaurant. The lead sample was taken from a stained glass Pinnochio window. Another possible lead exposure site is a sword called Ex Calibur which has been said to contain lead and is often touched by children when they have their picture taken.
Disney has said they are in compliance with laws requiring signs indicating lead is present. Do children who can read understand what lead is though, and its harmful effects? In the chaos that a theme park can be with swarms of visitors, and loud noise is it likely even adults will notice and read such signs?
It seems the best course for Disneyland visitor health is simply to replace the lead-containing fixtures, and let the press and public know when it has been done. Why should there be any unnecessary risk to children’s health at a theme park focused on entertaining children?
If Disney was more forward-looking, they could remove the lead-containing fixtures and then make an educational exhibit out of them to teach children and parents about lead poisoning prevention. The environmental groups might even collaborate with them on the project.
About fifteen million people visited Disneyland in 2010.
Image Credit: Public Domain