Contamination by ten harmful elements in toys and children's jewelry bought on the North American market

Mert Guney, Gerald J. Zagury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Toys and children's jewelry may contain metals to which children can be orally exposed. The objectives of this research were (1) to determine total concentrations (TC's) of As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Se in toys and jewelry (n = 72) bought on the North American market and compare TC's to regulatory limits, and (2) to estimate oral metal bioavailability in selected items (n = 4) via bioaccessibility testing. For metallic toys and children's jewelry (n = 24) 20 items had TC's exceeding migratable concentration limits (European Union). Seven of seventeen jewelry items did not comply with TC limits in U.S. and Canadian regulations. Samples included articles with very high Cd (37% [w/w]), Pb (65%), and Cu (71%) concentrations. For plastic toys (n = 18), toys with paint or coating (n = 12), and brittle or pliable toys (n = 18), TC's were below the EU migration limits (except in one toy for each category). Bioaccessibility tests showed that a tested jewelry item strongly leached Pb (gastric: 698 μg, intestinal: 705 μg) and some Cd (1.38 and 1.42 μg). Especially in metallic toys and jewelry, contamination by Pb and Cd, and to a lesser extent by Cu, Ni, As, and Sb, still poses an acute problem in North America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5921-5930
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 4 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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