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Lead & Heavy Metals Pose Serious Threat to General Public


Lead in consumer products, such as toys and jewelry, presents a potential dangerous hazard to the public, especially to young children.

Various plastics, paints and other surface coatings have historically utilized lead and other heavy metals as stabilizers. The deterioration of lead in some products, upon handling and if ingested or inhaled, can cause serious health effects. EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s leading environmental laboratories, can help detect the presence of lead and other heavy metals.

EMSL offers a wide variety of analytical tests that screen for lead content and simulate the handling or consumption of toys and other consumer goods. Toys made of plastic and PVC are best analyzed using the X-Ray Fluorescence technique, as the lead in these substrates is often tightly bound and cannot reliably leach in an acidic solution. Consumer products made of metal and other substrates are best analyzed using an acidic digestion procedure.

The lead in surface coatings test is best applied to samples which have a uniform layer of print or paint that can be scraped. An acid extraction test simulates exposure to a potentially hazardous item after it has been ingested. The sample is suspended in a mildly acidic solution and extracted in series for a total of 6 hours to determine exposure limits.

Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President at EMSL reported, “The dangers associated with lead poisoning are serious and should be understood by all parents. People who are concerned about the effects of lead after a child has mouthed a toy should request the saliva leachate test. This test measures the concentration of lead likely to leach in a child’s mouth and can give parents the information they need.”

EMSL has been offering lead testing services for several decades. For more information on testing services and test kits provided by EMSL please call (800) 220-3675, visit or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, food, and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 Heavy Metals
 Consumer Product Testing
 Environmental Laboratory

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