Greens go after Disney for illegal child lead exposures

Apparently Disney doesn’t greenwash hard enough.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Dozens of leaded-glass windows and brass rail chains, door knobs and drinking water fountains at some of Disneyland’s most popular attractions expose children to high levels of lead, according to an environmental group seeking a court injunction Tuesday to require the amusement park to cover the items or post health warnings.

The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court in April against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc., alleging excessive levels of lead in such commonly touched objects as the Sword in Stone attraction, where Disneyland photographers encourage children to pose while pulling on the sword handle. Other objects include brass door knobs at Minnie’s House and stained-glass windows in a door at the entrance to a beauty salon in Cinderella’s Castle…

The tests found hand lead exposures at the Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan Ride and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of 1 microgram, 9.75 micrograms and 5.82 micrograms respectively, Mateel said.

A wipe sample taken from a stained-glass Pinocchio window in the dining area of Village Haus restaurant found a lead exposure of 350 micrograms, Mateel said.

Under state law, warnings are required if exposure for average users exceeds 0.5 micrograms per day…

Though we hold our nose while defending Disney (at least while its under the leadership of the greenwashing CEO Bob Iger), suffice it to say that no child can be “lead poisoned” or anything approaching that from the sorts of exposures mentioned in the article. Lead poisoned children have ingested a lot of lead from, say, swallowing a trinket made of lead or eating a lot of lead paint chips. Mere exposure does not equate to toxicity.

4 thoughts on “Greens go after Disney for illegal child lead exposures”

  1. A closer look at the “Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation” reveals that it is basically a one-man show, run by “President” William Verick. Its sole purpose seems to be churning out Prop. 65 lawsuits against large corporations: Sears, Home Depot and U-Haul have been sued in the past by Mateel.

    And Verick’s reward from all of this environmental advocacy? In 2008, for example, Verick personally made $1.06 million in attorney fees, which accounted for 60% of the total cash awarded. (This data is readily available from the California Attorney General’s office by the way.)

    It’s a shame that I’ve now seen the original LA Times Disneyland article regurgitated at least a dozen times in other news outlets, and not yet have I seen any attempt to dig a little deeper into Verick or his agenda.

    But, it’s all about saving the kids, right? 😉

  2. Steve, I was reading an article in a health newsletter the other day about lead in drinking water. The article stated that the EPA requires municipalities to take action if lead is found in the water supply at or above 15 parts per billion. Is that a typo? That’s 15/10 millionths of 1%. Is that even possible to detect? I work in the printing industry and Material Safety Data Sheets require chemical manufacturers to list ingredients that are known carcinogens if they are present in an amount of 1/10th of 1% or greater.

  3. Good comment. But it is the acid in the digestive tract that would release lead into the blood stream so a lead bullet in a leg wouldn’t be a problem once the risk of sepsis had passed.

    I question of death from a trinket. There were deep pockets to mine in the Minnesota case if you could bring the lead in the trinket into evidence. It is sttange that exactly one trinket would cause a problem.

  4. My father had a lead bullet in his lower leg from the time he was in his twenties until his death at the age of 98. He didn’t tell me how he got it. I wonder how long he would have survived without this long term exposure to toxicity – it must have shortened his life immensely.

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