Bounce Houses Pose Lead Hazard, Group Says

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) just issued a warning to parents that bounce houses pose a <"">lead hazard to children. Also, CEH and the California Attorney General have filed lawsuits to end the health threat from Inflatable bounce houses.

An investigation by CEH prompted lawsuits to be filed by CEH and the California Attorney General against leading makers, distributors, and suppliers of bounce houses (also called jump houses or inflatable jumpers). CEH testing found one bounce house contained more than 70 times the federal limit for lead in children’s products under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Independent testing commissioned by CEH also showed that lead from bounce houses can expose children to the toxic chemical at levels that violate California law.

“Parents expect that their children might be a little dizzy after a jumping session, but most parents would never suspect that a bounce house could pose a hidden health threat,” said Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH. “We look forward to working with the Attorney General to eliminate these unnecessary lead exposures to children.”

The companies being sued supply bounce houses to many retail bounce house party outlets as well as to independent companies that rent and deliver bounce houses to individuals, festivals, and events. Bounce houses are often made with vinyl (polyvinyl chloride, or PVC), a “poison plastic” often made with lead, a known neurotoxin that can cause brain and nervous system damage in children and fetuses.

Lead also causes behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, digestive problems, hearing problems, headaches, mental and physical retardation, and behavioral and other health problems. Of particular concern is the developing brain because negative influences can have long-lasting effects and can continue well into puberty and beyond. Lead is known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, can damage the nervous system. In high doses, lead poisoning can cause seizure, coma, and death. Once poisoned by lead, no organ system is immune; experts agree, there is no safe level of lead.

“I’m horrified by these findings. My daughter just celebrated her 6th birthday with a bounce house party, and we’ve been to at least 7 other bounce house events in the last year,” said Mary Brune, Co-founder & Director of MOMS, a national grassroots movement of mothers and others working to eliminate the presence of toxic chemicals in the environment that can contaminate our bodies and breast milk. “We parents can’t police all of the places our children visit looking for invisible health hazards. This problem needs to be solved—and soon.”

CEH has also been discussing lead in bounce houses with industry leader Ninja Jump of Los Angeles, in hopes of resolving the issue industry-wide. CEH began testing bounce houses for lead this spring, finding bounce houses made by several companies containing high levels of lead. The Center initiated the state’s first legal action to end lead threats from bounce houses in February, notifying the Attorney General and the bounce house suppliers about the health concern.

Cutting Edge Creations, Inc.;
Funtastic Factory, Inc. dba; the Inflatable Store, Inc/Leisure Activities Co., Ltd.; Jump for Fun, Inc.; Magic Jump, Inc.; Thrillworks, Inc; and Bay Area Jumps were all named as defendants in the case.

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