Toy surveys continue to find heavy metals

A survey of 669 childrens’ toys and products on sale in the US has found lead levels declining but persistent traces of other heavy metals.1

The Ecology Center detected lead in 18% of products tested. Three per cent of products had lead levels exceeding 300 parts per million, the trigger for a government recall.

This is a 67% decline since 2007. But one in three toys tested still contained lead, cadmium, arsenic or mercury, according to the Ecology Center.

However, another US organisation using the same test method has apologised for comparing its findings with US safety standards.

GoodGuide and the Ecology Centre used a portable X-ray fluorescence analyser, testing products’ surface composition. The government measures soluble metal content.

GoodGuide hit headlines in the UK in December when it reported antimony levels in US toy Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster, sold as Go Go Hamster in the UK, above those permitted in the US and EU.

The US government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating.

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