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Re: Parents Against PVC Toys
While phthalate plasticizers are primarily used with PVC, lead and cadmium
can and have been used in almost any plastic. I know of one very thin film
application that still uses a cadmium stabilizer for technical reasons. The
main use of lead stabilizer in the US is for power wire insulation, typically
not recommended for sucking. Practices differ around the world as we saw
when imported miniblinds were found to contain lead but domestic equivalents
did not. For many, if not most, of the articles tested there are vinyl
products available that do not use either lead or cadmium as pigment or
Levels of lead of about 200 ppm (0.02%) are consistent only with its use as a
pigment, not as a stabilizer. They might, in some situations, also be
consistent with inadvertent contamination the product saw along the way.
Obviously, the same is true of low ppm levels of cadmium. The question is
whether that low level of lead or cadmium is available, and whether it might
reasonably be expected to be used so as to extract it. I cannot imagine the
use of either in a toy designed to be put in the mouth.
I would be interested to see whether other toys use either of these materials
as pigments. I think the issue is the use of the pigment, the potential for
and magnitude and impact of exposure and not the matrix it is bound in.