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My son had the exact same problem with this set at Christmas. In step 1, you put the red joiner on the axle. In step 2, there is a smaller axle that gets put in the other end. The only clue is that each step shows what parts are needed, so you can see that there is a little axle there that needs to be incorporated.
You can find downloadable copies of LEGO instructions for any set (there might be a few exceptions but not for standard retail sets) at the LEGO web site: https://wwwsecure.us.lego.com/en-us/service/buildinginstructions
Remember the BPA scare? It's all but a crime to release a product that even thinks about having BPA. But I did the search anyway, and no, there is not any in this or any other LEGO product I can find to date. LEGO is pretty good about nontoxic products, drinking use intended or no. I mean, they're made for kids. Good question though.
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