Friday, August 31, 2007

Made In China

Like many parents, I've been concerned about the increasing number of recalls of Chinese-made goods. I am also surprised to hear how many of our products are made in China - one report gave an estimate of 80% of all toys in America. Last night as I gave Elise her bath, I decided to do my own little household survey.

Sure enough...every single toy in the bathtub that has a manufacturer's label on it was made in China. Hmm. Interesting. I continued my survey this morning in the playroom. These are the toys that I found that were not made in China: (I'm big on lists this week)

  • stuffed rabbit made in India
  • soft alphabet book made in the Philippines
  • recorder made in Japan
  • matchbox car made in Malaysia
  • sunglasses made in Taiwan
  • dollhouse and furniture made in Mexico (the dolls that came with the set were made in China)
  • hobby horse made in Indonesia
  • rocking horse made in France
  • Legos made in USA and Switzerland

That's it. Everything else - every other toy in the playroom that has a manufacturer's label on it - was made in China. This includes Happy Meal and dollar store toys as well as expensive toys chosen for their durability.

Now, to be fair, if we are really buying (and I think we are) so many of our goods from China, then we've got to look at the percentage of recalled items. I don't know what it is, but it's got to be tiny. It's not like 50% of all Chinese-made goods are being recalled. But I'm still uncomfortable. I don't want to wait until a toy company gets a complaint about lead poisoning before I find out that the toy my daughter has been playing with for three months is covered in lead paint.

What do you all think about this trend? I'm trying to keep up with the recall lists (I just found that the infant swing I purchased for our church nursery has been recalled) and I know I'll be more careful about the toys I purchase in the future. This makes me want to buy only American- or European-made products, which is virtually impossible. (I have new appreciation for Elise's rocking horse and Legos. I did not know that Legos were made in Switzerland. How cool is that?!)

Now, on to survey Elise's bedroom!


Bob said...

Don't forget! Many of those labels that say "Made in China" probably also ought to have appended to them "with slave labour from political and religious prisoners."

Heidijayhawk said...

that list looks like a proud glbal education list until you realize most of those are third world countries. i'm the worst. i totally have the vast majority of our toys that were made in china. what do we do?

Retha said...

It is difficult to go through live and avoid all that things bob mentioned. Then there are a lot of other things he did not mention.
Racism, nepotism.
Buying things from those who swear, think too much of them selves, despise others because of their weight, accent,use harmful for the environment processes.
The list is endless!

I would also not want my child to play with toys that will harm him. It is good that those has been found n the US and you may send it back.
Here, I do not know. All that send-back-toy will probably be dumped here where we live.
I often see this with the character toys, say of a movie. The move came and went long ago and then toys arrive here. On the packaging you will see there are others of the same but it is never seen.

If I had to make a list like you it will probably be worst. Our lego is an imitation, that probably came from China.

Now, that will be all from me for now.