Environmental Enforcement: ‘Bounce House’ Makers Agree to Drastically Cut Lead Levels

by | Mar 7, 2011

Two southern California producers of inflatable children’s play equipment have agreed to reduce lead in their products under at Alameda County court in Oakland, Calif.

The agreement follows a lawsuit filed in August 2010 by the California attorney general and nonprofit group Center for Environmental Health (CEH) against 13 firms involved in the manufacture of vinyl, vinyl “bounce houses” or the distribution of such products.

Testing undertaken for the original lawsuit by CEH and the state’s attorney general found that some of the vinyl in the bounce houses contained lead levels that violated both federal and state regulations.

Wednesday’s agreement means that Ninja Jump and Einflatables – based in Los Angeles, Calif., and Santa Fe Springs, Calif., respectively – have agreed to limit the lead content in the vinyl used in their bounce houses to 100 parts per million.

This agreed limit is lower than the current federal maximum of 300 parts per million.

“With the level this low, there’s virtually no chance a child will be exposed to lead,” Charles Margulis, spokesman for the environmental group told the Contra Costa Times.

The two bounce house manufacturers – which combined, Margulis says, account for roughly half of the California market – will jointly pay $12,500 for compliance testing, the Times reports.

Ninja Jump and Einflatables have also agreed to inform their past buyers of the lead problem and to offer lead testing and replacement of or discounts on certain lead-tainted bounce houses, according to CEH.

According to CEH, the two vinyl manufacturers in the original suit – Seattle Textile Company and Naizil Inc – marketed their vinyl as lead-free, but testing found high lead levels in vinyl bounce houses made using the companies’ vinyl.

Settlements for the remaining 11 defendants (see below for a full list) will be handled on a case-by-case basis, Margulis told the Times.

CEH describes vinyl (polyvinyl chloride, or PVC) – regularly used in the manufacture of bounce houses – as a “poison plastic” that can contain lead. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause learning disorders, brain and nerve damage, hearing problems, stunted growth, and digestive problems, the environmental group says.

The 11 remaining defendants are:

  • Magic Jump, Inc.
  • Jump for Fun National, Inc. & Jump for Fun, Inc.
  • Thrillworks, Inc.
  • Jingo Jump, Inc.
  • Elite Inflatables
  • Inflatable Games, Inc.
  • Tool King Motor Company
  • Happy Jump, Inc.
  • Jungle Jumps
  • Party On! Rental
  • Naizil Coated Fabrics, Inc. & Naizil, Inc. (vinyl manufacturer)
  • Seattle Textile Company (vinyl manufacturer)
  • CSN Stores, Inc. & CSN Stores, LLC (distributor)

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