September 3, 2008

Lead is Bad

Toys that contain lead or phthalates can be harmful to children. So, the U.S. recently signed into law legislation that prohibits both, the strictest ban in the world.
This has been universally heralded as a positive. Kids are safer. Parents don't have to worry. No consumer wanted lead in the toys.
I still question why legislation was needed. Why couldn't a lead-free toymaker advertise "Lead-Free" on their box, spurring consumer awareness, and therefore, market competition.
Is the real problem lack of legislation or consumer education?
I know what you're thinking. What's the big deal? Lead was bad, and now it's gone. Same result.
You're right. But, with this logic, it makes no sense for a lot of other things to be legal, either. And maybe we'll still want the choice for some of them.