Estimating children's exposure to toxic elements in contaminated toys and children's jewelry via saliva mobilization

Mert Guney, Alain Nguyen, Gerald J. Zagury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Children's potential for exposure to potentially toxic elements in contaminated jewelry and toys via mouth contact has not yet been fully evaluated. Various toys and jewelry (metallic toys and jewelry [MJ], plastic toys, toys with paint or coating, and brittle/pliable toys; n = 32) were tested using the saliva extraction (mouthing) compartment of the DIN and RIVM bioaccessibility protocols to assess As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Se mobilization via saliva. Total concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Sb were found elevated in analyzed samples. Four metals were mobilized to saliva from 16 MJ in significant quantities (>1 g for highly toxic Cd and Pb, >10 g for Cu and Ni). Bioaccessible concentrations and hazard index values for Cd exceeded limit values, for young children between 6 mo-and 3 yr-old and according to both protocols. Total and bioaccessible metal concentrations were different and not always correlated, encouraging the use of bioaccessibility for more accurate hazard assessments. Bioaccessibility increased with increasing extraction time. Overall, the risk from exposure to toxic elements via mouthing was high only for Cd and for MJ. Further research on children's exposure to toxic elements following ingestion of toy or jewelry material is recommended. © 2014

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1218-1227
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 19 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioaccessibility
  • cadmium
  • children's health
  • jewelry
  • lead
  • metal contamination
  • toys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Medicine(all)

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