Lead in Bounce Houses

Problem: High levels of lead have been found in some bounce houses (inflatable jumpers, jump houses, bouncy castles) that children play in at parties and festivals. Lead in bounce houses is from vinyl, a poison plastic that can sometimes be made with lead, which is used to stabilize bright colors. Lead from bounce houses can wipe off onto children’s hands, posing a threat of exposure from hand-to-mouth behaviors.

CEH Action: In 2010, CEH began testing bounce houses for lead, including nearly 30 rented at random from Bay Area rental companies. All but one of the bounce houses we rented contained high levels of lead. We notified makers and suppliers of bounce houses about the problem, and in August 2010 we joined with the California Attorney General in filing legal action against the leading bounce house companies.

Solution: CEH is calling on bounce house companies to eliminate the lead threat to children by using safer materials in producing bounce houses. Through our legal action we expect to negotiate an agreement that protects children when they play in bounce houses.

What You Can Do: There is no way to know by looking at a bounce house whether it may pose a lead hazard. So, if your children play in bounce houses, they should always wash their hands thoroughly immediately afterwards.

Media:

Suit Sees Lead Risk in Bounce Houses, New York Times, August 11, 2010

Bouncy House Makers Face Lead Level Questions, CBS News, August 11, 2010