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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

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Methodology

Photo courtesy EcoWaste Coalition.

This study investigated the toxic chemical content of children’s products purchased at different types of stores using an Olympus InnovX Delta hand-held X-ray fluorescence analyzer (XRF). The XRF device is routinely used by companies and US regulatory agencies such as US EPA and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for metals detection in consumer products and other media. Since many products have many different components, a conservative approach was used and the reported levels are the highest level detected for each metal of concern including antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. Standards for levels of concern include samples with concentrations greater than the following: antimony (60 ppm, US HR 4428 Children’s Toxic Metals Act), arsenic (25 ppm, US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act soluble limit used as a conservative level in lieu of a current total content limit), cadmium (75 ppm, US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act), chromium (60 ppm, US HR 4428 Children’s Toxic Metals Act), lead (90 ppm, US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act), and mercury (25 ppm, US Toxics and Packaging Law in 19 states(PDF)). As indicated in other studies of this type, these levels are not intended to correspond with levels known to cause health effects. For example, there is strong scientific agreement that there is no safe level of lead exposure. IPEN acquired a XRF Device from contributions by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, SSNC. The views herein shall not necessarily be taken to reflect the official opinion of SSNC.

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