3M Littman Brand Nurse’s stethoscope with red tubing:
1,828 ppm lead (What!!!!?) in the red tubing. New item owned by a professional nurse, tested in 2014.
In my personal opinion medical equipment should not test positive for any Lead at all!
The amount of Lead that is considered toxic in an item intended for use by children is 90 parts per million (ppm) or higher in the paint or coating or 100 ppm or higher in the substrate. Stethoscopes are not considered “items intended for use by children” and so are not regulated for total Lead content as detectable with an XRF, but you would think that as a piece of medical equipment the regulations would be even more strict! I guess not!
The part that tested positive on this is the red “plastic” part…. and just think for a moment the last time you took your baby to the doctor… did someone let him/ her play with their stethoscope to keep the baby busy? Or did they let the baby play with the measuring tape they were using to measure the circumference of your baby’s head? (link)
Here’s a link to see a new this product “in the wild” on Amazon – LINK.
Flexible plastics / vinyl / synthetic rubber products often test positive for high levels of lead. The material is often bathed/ washed in a chemical bath containing lead – and that is what helps to keep it supple/ flexible.
I have not tested a newer one of these (as of December 2017), but would like to, to find out if they are still making them leaded. If so, we need to start a petition on behalf of nurses (& doctors) and patients (!) everywhere.
To see more stethoscopes I have tested, click here.
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Sources?? Are they academic? How come we all haven’t died from being touched by a stethoscope then?
I do the testing myself. Here are the links about that:
No one is suggesting you would die from this. It is just a blog post reporting on lead levels found in an item, and potential concerns for exposure there.