As noted earlier in this space, many ordinary rocks — you know, the kind you kick with your foot — flunk the exceedingly stringent lead limits in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. And that’s not all, as Rick Woldenberg relates:
… if foolish educational companies want to sell rocks to schools or for inclusion in educational kits sold in toy stores, they must now test the rocks not only for lead but also for sharp points. Yes, rocks with sharp points need to be restricted under ASTM F963 for children aged eight years old or younger. The CPSC has yet to issue guidance to millions of curious Americans on how to manage this exposure when walking to the park or playing catch with the dog in the backyard. …
Is there a testing standard for rocks in the head? Is the concern lead, sharp points or that irritating rattling noise?
Per the Woldenberg entry we linked in May, “Michael Warring of American Educational Products reports that a school opted to stop using AmEP’s rocks to teach Earth Science and will instead rely on a POSTER.”
PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE from Benjamin Cobb, Yankee Mother Goose (Ella Brison, illustrator), courtesy ChildrensLibrary.org.