I know how easy it is to grab something off the shelf at a store and not think twice about its safety. I mean, if the product wasn’t safe, it wouldn’t be there in the first place, right? Wrong. More and more, we hear stories of toy, food, and product recalls. Just this past weekend, U.S. Customs Agents seized 1,700 pairs of kids’ shoes at the Seattle border that had three times the legal limit of lead. The shoes were made in China and on their way to U.S. stores, where families like yours could have easily purchased them. Luckily, the shoes never made it to the shelves at your local box store, but stories like this leave us wondering: How in the world do we prevent these goods from entering into our homes?
One of the best and easiest ways is simple: Buy American.
While buying American isn’t a cut-and-dry solution to preventing otherwise dangerous goods from finding their way into your home, it certainly reduces the likelihood of Olivia’s latest doll being contaminated with lead.
That’s not to say that American-made goods are recall-proof. Surely, our factories and products aren’t perfect. But U.S. products are a lot safer than many of the goods coming out of China and other countries. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled 20 American-made products to the 108 foreign-produced items that were recalled this year alone. The reason that so many more foreign-made products are recalled than American-made ones is because safety standards in other countries are lower than those in the U.S. The consumer-protections laws that we have in place are specifically designed to keep our families safe. While buying American isn’t a cut-and-dry solution to preventing otherwise dangerous goods from finding their way into your home, it certainly reduces the likelihood of Olivia’s latest doll being contaminated with lead.
The recent story out of Seattle about the lead-laden kids’ shoes brings up another very concerning thought. What if the Customs Agents didn’t make this discovery? The rate of foreign-made recalls clearly shows that these products are making it to some of our favorite stores and into our homes.
Not only does buying American help reduce the chances of bringing home an unsafe toy for little Mason, but it also stimulates our economy and helps create jobs. And in case you’ve been sleeping for the past decade, we as a country could use a boost to the economy and more jobs – but I’ll leave the political ramifications of buying American for another blog, on another site.
In the meantime, buy American, shop local, and support small businesses.
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make A Right