John Kalinowski thinks that lead paint may even be a contributing factor in autism.
"My seven-year-old son had several Mattel toys that contained lead," adds Kalinowski. "I talked with the [attorney] from LawyersandSettlements and he looked up the recall numbers. My son has autism and he tends to chew on things more than normal - it's a sensory thing; everything goes in his mouth." Lead has a pleasant taste - the Romans used it to line their cups and they added lead oxzide into their wine as a flavoring. "It is easy to figure out whey kids like this stuff -they would rather chew on something with lead paint -- like a dog slurping anti-freeze," adds Kalinowski.
"I am now beginning to think that lead paint has something to do with autism," he says. "If you look at the time frame—when these toys were found to contain lead and the increase in autism rates—there appears to be a correlation.
"With the exception of the girl's jewelry, most of the toys that were pulled off the market are toys he was chewing, continually. I wish I could test all his toys myself; you can buy lead testing kits at some hardware stores to see if your house contains lead but they are expensive. And your lawyer told me not to send anything to Mattel for testing because they can use it as evidence.
We are going ahead with the lead testing but it is really hard with my son because of his autism. We might have to sedate him to have blood taken. Simple things can set him off - we even have to hold him down for a haircut so you can imagine how he reacts to blood draws. Having blood taken isn't like getting a little prick in your finger--it takes a while. We will have to strap him in a chair and hold him down—it is very traumatic.
READ MORE LEGAL NEWSI think lead testing is the least Mattel should be doing. They sold us the toys that were recalled for lead; why shouldn't they pay? But they are a corporation and will try to get away with the very least. They may get a spanking in the marketplace but what is the consumer doing? I am now left searching for foreign-made toys not coming from China. They cost more, especially ones I have found that are made in Germany, but what does expense matter if a toy is toxic?
I am just as mad as Mattel as the government is. I believe Mattel sold out to our detriment and expense. There is a swell of anger against Chinese manufacturing but Mattel is at fault for not testing their products before they went on the market. And most of the so-called US safety net is full of big holes."