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California attorney general sues bounce-house makers, alleging unsafe lead levels

August 11, 2010 | 12:57 pm

State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown filed a lawsuit Wednesday against several manufacturers of children’s bounce houses that contain unsafe levels of lead.

Earlier this year the attorney general’s office received notices from the Center for Environmental Health alleging that tests had shown that parts of some bounce houses -- large, inflatable structures popular at children's parties -- were contaminated with high levels of lead.

Federal limits on lead in children’s products are 90 parts per million for painted surfaces and 300 ppm for all other parts.

In the case of some inflatable structures, the lead levels of the vinyl were as high as 5,000 ppm to 29,000 ppm. Children are usually exposed to the toxic material through hand-to-mouth contact after playing on the vinyl.

Brown’s suit demands that companies stop selling the contaminated materials and requires rental companies to post warnings.

"Kids at birthday parties can spend hours playing in bounce houses," Brown said in a statement. "The goal of our lawsuit is to eliminate any chance they will be exposed to lead while they’re jumping around having a good time."

-- Ching-Ching Ni