[ RadSafe ] Kids' science kits may take hit from safety ruling

Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Thu Sep 30 21:29:25 CDT 2010

Kids' science kits may take hit from safety ruling - Yahoo! News 

   Caught up in the debate are the classroom science kits and some of
the items they contain, such 
   as paper clips to show kids how magnets work.
   Science kit makers argue the paper clips, rulers and other items in
the kits aren't harmful to 
   children, would be too expensive to test, and shouldn't have to be
tested because they are everyday 
   items found in homes and schools that don't have to be tested if
bought separately at retail.

Now, I understand the commission's issue that if the chemicals in the
kit need to be tested for toxics/etc then the paperclips, rulers, and
the rest of the incidentals should be tested as well.  But, when I
compare the risk of having a trace of lead in an "experimental
paperclip" to the risk of the experiments we did in school and at home
when I was growing up it just seems a bit ridiculous -- and there really
wasn't any real risk other than minor (superficial) cuts, burns, etc (if
you were a bit slow).

Some of the best comments that I have seen on this issue: 
<the first one is to put this post on topic...>

 - You know all of those guys who worked for NASA in the 60s, designing
and building the 
   rockets that took us to the moon? Well, they had radioactive sources
and Geiger counters 
   in their science kits.
   And kids today are going to have to fight to get paper clips and
magnets. Sigh.

 - What the heck are paper clips doing in a science kit anyway? Is it
part of 
   the module on the boring bureaucracy of science?

 - The more we regulate science kits and lose children's natural
curiosity in the world 
   around us by essentially telling them that anyplace other than
indoors watching TV and 
   doing a bit of exercise on the treadmill is going to kill them, the
more we can watch 
   the US slip further and further into the dark ages...

Cary Renquist
cary.renquist at ezag.com

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