Why need to know our Textiles, Plastics, Metals, Ceramics, Glass,Wine bottle, jewellry product are “lead(pb)” free.

Description:
A naturally occurring heavy metal (CAS no. 7439-92-1) which can be found naturally in some ore.

Chemically
Lead is abbreviated “Pb” (lat. Plumbum). It is a silvery, soft malleable heavy metal with very toxic effects.

Where it may be found or Possible Applications:
Textiles ~ especially viscose and dyed and printed fabrics.
Paints, pigments, dyes & inks ~ used to be used in household paints. Often found in red and orange paints. Also used in metal complex dyes.
Plastics ~ as a heat stabilizer or as a pigment in plastics such as PVC.
Metals ~ textile trims, components and surface coatings, added to steel for turning e.g. nuts and bolts. Added to brass for corrosion resistance.
Batteries ~ especially car batteries.
Ceramics ~ glazes.
Varnishes, enamels & lacquers
Solder, circuit boards and electronic components
Wine bottle wrappers ~ now banned.
Glass ~ cathode ray tubes, discharge lamps and light bulbs.
Lead crystal ~ lead added to glass to soften it for cutting and make it easier to polish.
Fuels ~ lead removed from petrol due to negative effects to humans; though lead petrol still used in many developing countries.

Today one tries to substitute lead with less toxic substances. It can be used
- As metal trim.
- In coatings.
- In pigments.

Reason for concern:
Lead is a poisonous substance. It is a possible neurotoxin, which means that it damages the nervous system.

Humans ~ highly toxic and suspected carcinogen. Can result in a wide range of biological effects including muscle weakness, birth defects and damage to the kidneys, central nervous, reproductive and immune system. Children exposed to lead can suffer problems with concentration, memory, cognition, behaviour and lower IQ levels.
Environmental ~ bioaccumulative in the environment.

Exposure:
Humans ~ major exposure is from ingestion if a product is sucked or swallowed. Exposure also via food or water contaminated with lead, or from inhalation of fine particles of dust or soil contaminated with lead.
Environment ~ enters the food chain via soil, water or air contaminated with lead from various sources including waste water effluent, landfill, incineration and vehicle exhaust fumes.

Alternatives:
Not applicable.

Comments:
Lead pigments and stabilisers ~ Largely removed in Europe due to voluntary ban by manufacturers. Lead can react with atmospheric pollutants and form coloured compounds which will discolour white materials.
Lead Crystal ~ in good quality lead crystal the lead is bound within the crystal and will not be hazardous during use. In poor quality lead crystal there may be some ‘free’ lead that is soluble and will be hazardous. Lead crystal trims should be tested to EN71 part 3 to ascertain if any soluble lead is released. Other stones and glass trims and products may be made from Compound Glass or Glass treated with lead both of which could contain unacceptable levels of lead so will need to be tested.

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1 Response

  1. January 28, 2014

    […] Lead content & Cadmium test (EPA 3050B/3051) is MANDATORY for all adult jewelry items. […]

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