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Is old Lego safe?

(72 Posts)
GrandmaRoo Mon 29-Jan-18 13:42:40

I have seen several newspaper articles recently (although found one from 2012) which state that Lego from the 70’s and 80’s contains levels of cadmium, lead and arsenic which nowadays are not permissible, and may be a health hazard. (Well, yes, but who knew?)
So first a huge apology to my children, then try to ward off the ever present parental guilt about almost everything, then - where is the advice/apology/recommendations and lastly .... what do I do with the huge chest of old Lego which my little grandchildren were going to have presented to them in a few years?
Should I just throw it away? I was about to give it all to a charity shop but that’s just wrong if these warnings are correct. Anyone know any more?

Welshwife Mon 29-Jan-18 13:46:38

Depends really if you have children using it who chew everything. My children did not and neither did the GC. It can’t be as dangerous as lead paint was as Lego doesn’t flake off.

NanaandGrampy Mon 29-Jan-18 13:48:34

I had never heard that Grandma Roo so did a google search and can't find anything that says that .

Can you tell me where you saw it please. My grandchildren play quite happily with Lego for the 70's and 80's ( although they don't put it in their mouths which goes for the newer Lego also) .

felice Mon 29-Jan-18 13:52:31

It doesn't seem to have done my Children any harm, oldest 43, surely just another scare story to makes us poor parents feel guilty again.
Are we just being encouraged to buy new all the time, after all Lego is one toy which really does last forever???.

GrandmaRoo Mon 29-Jan-18 13:56:31

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/toys-from-the-seventies-and-eighties-could-be-poisoning-your-children-10125415.html?amp

This popped up recently although it was written in 2015.

Lynnebo Mon 29-Jan-18 14:08:56

Sounds like a marketing ploy! Chuck out all your old lego and buy new? No way! Enjoy it - lets face it if your Children are playing with lego I imagine you are already assured that they won't put it in their mouths due to the danger of choking! x

GrandmaRoo Mon 29-Jan-18 14:15:54

Also lots of info on the ‘Eurobricks Convention’ from 2012. These folks are Lego geeks. Some of their analyses are quite alarming.

Bathsheba Mon 29-Jan-18 14:17:41

No it's not a marketing ploy Lynnebo. A friend of mine at Plymouth University has carried out research into old plastic toys - it's not just Lego, but many, many plastic toys from the 70s and 80s that are implicated.

read about his research here

NanaandGrampy Mon 29-Jan-18 14:22:39

Just read an article on the Huffington Post and its only if children chew red or yellow ( mainly) old toys that could have been coloured with cadmium.

Handling them is perfectly safe. As Lego ( and Duplo) are not intended for infants I see no cause for worry.

Lynnebo Mon 29-Jan-18 14:23:52

'Could be'
There's loads of plastic tat with doubtful origins that I wouldn't and won't buy but I am hanging onto the lego which is already mixed with new stuff. i have three very healthy children in their thirties- I'm reassured.

Farmor15 Mon 29-Jan-18 14:50:10

I’m certainly not throwing old Lego away. Grandchildren have already been playing with Duplo which is intended for younger ones so more likely to be chewed. Although we tried to keep Lego away from ours when they were at the age of putting things in their mouths, we weren’t always successful. On more than one occasion I found a small piece of lego in nappy having passed through child! None of them seemed to have had any ill effects, even by eating lego.

If the research only shows it might contain small amounts of something possibly harmful, doesn’t mean that children coming in contact might be harmed.

Cherrytree59 Mon 29-Jan-18 14:58:53

I had to take my DS to A&E to get a piece of Lego removed from his ear.

Don't throw your Lego away Grandmaroo
There are plenty of Lego collectors online many looking for 1970/1980s lego
Old Lego has a value,
I think Charity shops would recognise this.

Baggs Mon 29-Jan-18 15:02:47

The title includes the word "could". Usually when that is present it should really read "could but in all probability won't".

Treat coulds and cans in newspaper articles with extreme caution.

Greyduster Mon 29-Jan-18 15:09:11

I can’t ever remember mine chewing Lego (though we had a dog that chewed some Duplo bricks - he didn’t come to any harm). By the time they were given it, they had got past the chewing stage. Should very small children come into contact with Lego these days they are more at risk from swallowing or shoving small parts up their noses than poisoning. My GS has legions of Lego figures whose heads seem to be permanently detached waiting for their next incarnation. Fortunately (or not depending on how you look at it) he doesn’t have any smaller siblings crawling around coming into contact with them!

Morgana Mon 29-Jan-18 15:31:28

Was looking at L. (Phone won't let me type the full name. ) it all seems to come in sets now to make specific things. Any suggestions as to a basic type of set for a three year old?

Jalima1108 Mon 29-Jan-18 15:44:05

What about a box of Duplo for a 3 year old Morgana, the pieces are larger and easier for little fingers to handle. It doesn't come in sets like the mode3rn Lego (what happened to using your imagination to make things?). I bought some in TKMaax for the DGC, the youngest has only just stopped playing with it.

Jalima1108 Mon 29-Jan-18 15:45:05

Lego is more dangerous to bare feet imo.

lemongrove Mon 29-Jan-18 15:48:07

Or on stairs!

Bathsheba Mon 29-Jan-18 15:56:55

As Lego ( and Duplo) are not intended for infants I see no cause for worry.
Duplo is aimed at children from 18 months up - my children and grandchildren were certainly still putting toys in their mouths at this age.

Jalima1108 Mon 29-Jan-18 16:02:34

Newish Duplo should be fine though, shouldn't it? I bought mine about 7 years ago.

BlueBelle Mon 29-Jan-18 16:21:18

Amazing we re all alive really the things that were fine when I was a kid and are deadly now
I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it our fathers probably all chewed on lead soldiers

Greyduster Mon 29-Jan-18 16:35:26

We played with lead soldiers regularly when we were children. My uncle used to make them! I have no doubt they went into our mouths occasionally and even handling them must have been dangerous, as the paint contained lead as well and would flake off with handling. My son had some plastic soldiers with interchangeable bits and DD, very small at the time - ended up with a guardsman’s head up her nose. The jury is still out as to how it got there hmm! She had to go to the local hospital to have it removed. It was very traumatic.

hildajenniJ Mon 29-Jan-18 17:11:32

The following is from an article all about Lego from 2008.

and safety are the top concerns for the Lego Group. To ensure the best and safest products, Lego bricks are made with the highest quality materials, which does factor into the cost. Using premium materials ensures that the product is not only safe, but that it is durable enough to hand down from generation to generation. [I was told in the factory that their tests show that no bricks have ever decomposed or released any chemical substances. -J]

I would give the bricks a good wash, and then let them play with the Lego.

harrigran Mon 29-Jan-18 17:21:16

I will not be getting rid of the Lego that we have, we spent an absolute fortune buying sets and boxes of loose bricks. When the GC go home I find models all over the house, the other day I found a pig, duck and a mobile phone all made of Lego.

M0nica Mon 29-Jan-18 17:21:54

Yes, I read that, but, the risk is very small, my DGS is 7, so has passed the age of chewing plastic toys, so I am unconcerned. The box of old and new Lego will come out from under the bed on his next visit and he will build with them as usual.

DS and DD played with this Lego and they showed no signs of illness at the time and none now as adults.

I think this scare is on a par with early Which reports that would say a fridge was dangerous because if someone (a child? shock, horror) pulled the fridge out and inserted a six inch knife between two screwed together pieces of metal it might touch something electrical and they would get a shock.