Kids enjoy jumping in them. Some parents like to rent them for birthday parties. But the California Attorney General's office says some bounce houses, also known as jumping castles, contain amounts of lead that violate federal and state regulations.
California Attorney General Edmund Brown filed a lawsuit against several companies that make the large inflatable structures because the vinyl used to make them contains lead at levels deemed unsafe. The companies named in the suit are Bay Area Jump, Cutting Edge Creations, Funtastic Factory (known as Einflatables.com), Magic Jump, Leisure Activities Co., The Inflatable Store, Jump for Fun, Inc. and Jump for Fun National, Inc.
The state is responding to notices it received from the Center for Environmental Health, which found in testing that parts of the bounce houses were contaminated with lead levels ranging from 5,000 parts per million to 29,000 parts per million. Federal limits on lead in children's products are 90 parts per million for painted surfaces and 300 parts per million for all other parts.
"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."
The state contends that young children are particularly vulnerable to high levels of lead, which can have an adverse impact on their health. The damage can occur at a lower level in children than in adults. Lead can affect a child's mental and physical growth and can cause premature birth if the fetus is exposed to the lead in a mother's womb, the state says. Children could be exposed to lead if they put their hands to their mouths after touching vinyl in the bounce house.
The lawsuit seeks to force the companies to stop using the lead-containing vinyl immediately and cease selling the products. The state would also like party places and rental companies to post warnings about the products.
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