Do Bouncy Castles Pose a Health Risk (Other Than the Obvious Ones)

My Dream Home

The next time you rent a Bouncy Castle for your kids party, you may be getting something a little extra… lead poisoning.

OK That’s a bit extreme.

The New York Times reports that the California Attorney General has filed a lawsuit that claims that some, if not all, of the rented inflatable houses, castles, and amusements contain unsafe levels of lead in the vinyl they are made from.

An investigation by the Center for Environmental Health, in Oakland, tested several dozen houses and found that they contained between 5,000 and 29,000 parts per million of lead. Those measurements are way above the federal limit of 90 to 300 parts per million.

Robert Field, a defendant in the suit, and senior vice president of Cutting Edge Creations argues that the suit could put thousands of small-business owners that rent the inflatable fun-houses out of business, hurting California’s economy.

OK. His argument is "let us continue to rent party toys that have thousands of times the legal limit of a harmful substance because the economy is bad and you should ignore the problem for financial reasons".

The suit and investigation did not include Bouncy Castles sold to consumers. These should fall under the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and require testing prior to being sold. I only found one recall which was for a problem with the fan housing breaking and one alert in which children were bouncing out of a Playskool Moon Bouncer due to overinflation.

What is a parent to do if you want to rent a Bouncy Castle? One spokesman for the Center for Environmental Health recommends that parents should have wet-wipes available and children should wipe their exposed body parts (hands, feet, face) after bouncing to reduce the risk.

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