Lawsuit Alleges Excessive Lead Levels On Disneyland Rides, Attractions

ANAHEIM (CBS) — Is it “The Happiest Place On Earth” or the most toxic?

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports that’s the question one group is asking after finding what it claims to be excessive levels of lead at Disneyland.

The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation in a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court claims there are excessive levels of lead on commonly touched objects such as door knobs and drinking fountains at the theme park as well as rides like the Haunted Mansion and Mr. Toad’s Wild Road.

The “Sword In The Stone” is one attraction that encourages children to pose while pulling on the sword handle, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The group wants Disney to cover up these surfaces or post health warnings of illegal lead exposures.

One parent pushing a stroller toward the Disneyland entrance said she’s alarmed to a certain extent.

“With Disney, I would expect them, once they’re aware of the problem, to just eliminate it rather than just post signs,” she said.

Environmental consultant Richard Baker said lead exposure is more of a concern for kids under the age of 6 who frequently put their hands in the mouths.

“The deal with lead is that it is a cumulative poison,” said Baker, who warned that consistent exposure could eventually pose a health threat.

But for most visitors to the park, touching contaminated objects is typically a once-a-year occurrence — a fact that Baker says parents should consider.

“Once in a child’s lifetime, something of that nature, I really would not have a great deal of concern,” he said.

Disney officials have denied the allegations in the lawsuit, and maintained it has complied with state law regarding adequate warnings about the lead.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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