ERIC Number: ED414034
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Lead and Cadmium in Vinyl Children's Products. A Greenpeace Expose.
Di Gangi, Joseph
Polyvinyl chloride (vinyl or PVC) is a substance widely used in children's products. Because children in contact with these products may ingest substantial quantities of potentially harmful chemicals during normal play, especially when they chew on the product, this Greenpeace study examined the levels of lead and cadmium in a variety of consumer products. A collection of 131 PVC products, including clothing, backpacks, toys, and household items, were purchased (in the Chicago area) at national chain stores such as K-Mart, Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us. Findings indicated that about 20 percent of the products contained from 100 to over 22,000 parts-per-million lead, with 18 percent of the products exceeding the maximum lead limit recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. All the lead-containing products contained varying levels of cadmium, a known carcinogen. The study was replicated with the same results with products purchased in California, 10 major U.S. cities and Montreal, Canada. Several products released lead- or cadmium-contaminated dust over a 4-week period. (Additional materials appended to this report include a consumer bulletin, the summary of an additional study on the level of phthalates in PVC products, a scientific contact list, and background information on soft PVC toys. Five separately issued news releases, fact sheets, and copies of newspaper articles are appended; they discuss: lead and cadmium toxicity, exposure, and regulation; the reason for the Greenpeace investigation; regulation of lead in vinyl products, stabilizers in PVC, and the materials and methods used in the study. Contains about 35 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Greenpeace, Washington, DC.