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Lead in Children’s Toys Still a Concern for Parents

EMSL Analytical provides consumer product testing services to identify heavy metals and other hazardous materials in toys.


In September, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced multiple product recalls involving children’s toys and concerns over lead.

One recall involved thousands of Captain Cutlass Toy Pirate Pistols that were sold at Halloween and specialty stores between April of 2008 and May of this year.   The surface paints used on the toy pistols were found to contain excessive levels of lead.  Another recall involved approximately 600 units of the Toy Story 3 Bowling Game.  This product was also imported and found to contain high lead levels found in the red paint used on the bowling pins.  Yet another recall involved toy cars that contained excessive levels of lead.  All three toys were manufactured in China.

Children are especially vulnerable to the damage that can be caused by exposure to lead.  Many parents don’t think the toys they buy could have high levels of lead because of laws in place meant to protect children.  Unfortunately, far too many toys find their way onto store shelves that could cause a health threat despite these regulations.

“There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated,” reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The agency goes on to state, “Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.”

“Despite current regulations, parents need to be aware that some children’s toys, especially imported products, may contain high levels of lead,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, a leading lead and consumer products testing laboratory.  “EMSL offers lead testing services to consumers, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers to help keep unsafe toys away from children.”

EMSL has sponsored an online video about lead hazards in the home.  It can be seen at:
To learn more about lead or other consumer product testing services, please visit or, call (800)220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The laboratory is FDA registered, ISO 17025 and GMP compliant.



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