Just some of the latest stuff you don't need to worry your pretty little head over this weekend--unless you want to be a good parent, that is:
A woman in Arkansas is seeking class action status for her federal lawsuit against Playtex for selling her baby bottles made with Bisphenol-A. Oh wait, undisclosed BPA. Don't read any further if you're hoping to get a $26 check out of Playtex any time in the next eleven years. [msnbc]
A University of Cincinnati study shows that prenatal and infant lead exposure levels are closely correlated to violent crime arrests.
The advised action level for children set by the Centers for Disease Control is 10 micrograms per deciliter of lead, although many researchers believe that level is too high, and should be changed to at least five.
Wow, did you know miniblinds could be a key source of lead exposure? Apparently, the risk is very localized: living next to a battery factory, renovating an old house, having miniblinds, etc. [discovery.com, ephonline.org via dt freakout correspondent sara]
"We know there are detectable and long-lasting effects for levels that go down to 2," said Ronnie Levin of the U.S. EPA, who published a review of children's lead exposures last week in Environmental Health Perspectives.
In related news, after 12 years and a 2006 lawsuit forcing the issue, the EPA will institute a "white-glove" rule for cleaning up lead dust. Starting in 2010, contractors with home or child care renovations must wipe down their site twice--three times if absolutely necessary--in order to get dust levels to match an official, color-coded white card. One health advocate called the cleanup regulations, "borderline laughable." No word on what happens with renovations involving any other colors of paint. [washpost via, ummm...]
Land of the free to smack your kid and home of the balls to claim it's because you love him, and not because you're unconsciously perpetuating a multi-generational cycle of violence. According to the Economist, America is one of the few civilized [sic] countries that's not moving to outlaw kid-smacking and other forms of violence against children.
Also, though it drafted the treaty, the US is the only country besides Somalia which hasn't ratified the UN's 1990 convention on children's rights, which grants children freedom from “all forms of physical or mental violence.” Somalia, at least, has not had a functioning national government since 1991. [economist via tmn]
And last, two things that just freak me out: Bill Cosby is selling his fugly, old 80's sweaters for charity, his charity. Opening bid is $5,000 each, or approximately 10x the price of a bag of Tori Spelling's laundry. And Clay Aiken has reportedly given some sperm to his BFF/record producer, and now she/they are going to have a kid. If you chat with Aiken on Manhunt.net tonight, be sure to congratulate him. [tmz via dt reader jen]