WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 13, 2010, 11:26 AM

Parents frightened by news of inflatable games may contain toxic lead

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Parents here are frightened and taking new measures to protect their children after news inflatable games may be full of toxic lead. This comes as a Fargo business is connected to one of nine companies named in a California lawsuit.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

A new report shows lead levels of some popular inflatable games are 56 times greater than the federal limit; clearly a concern. Amy Brandon is like many parents, jumping at the chance for her children to play on inflatable games.

“They love them. They do. They love them.”

But now the mother of two is fearful after we told her these games may be unsafe, possibly deadly.

“This is unacceptable for our children. There's no reason it should be there.”

The issue is lead in the vinyl. Repeated touching, then ingesting the chemical can lead to brain damage and developmental disorders. We witnessed children getting off the games, and then eating, all without washing their hands.

“It does. It does concern me. I didn't know there is lead in the games. I would have never thought of that.”

Games Galore rents out these games at the Lobster and Lefse Festival. Owner Dave Lerud calls the lawsuit frivolous. He says safety is a top priority and has been for decades.

“We'll abide by any rules and regulations that come forward, but we haven't been told anything.”

“It goes along with so many lawsuits we've heard about in recent years, like the harmful products in children's toys. Everything from their bibs to their toys to the equipment, it's so frustrating.”

But after we shocked parents with the surprising news, we saw some making changes of their own. Here, Wendy Pearson isn't letting her son open this bottle.

“It's probably going to be something I'll research and think about seriously before I take them on the games again.”

While other worried parents vow to fight to make sure no family goes through the unthinkable.

“It's the principle of the matter and I feel like it just further inspires me to get involved in terms of trying to change regulations for it.”

The lawsuit wants manufacturers to warn consumers and stop using the problem material. Cutting Edge Creations out of Eagan Minnesota is one of two suppliers to Games Galore. Lerud says it hasn't contacted him about the lawsuit.