Most vintage books have at least some amount of lead. The amount of lead that is considered toxic in a modern item manufactured and intended to be used by children is 90 ppm or higher in the coating (or paint) and 100 ppm (or higher) in the substrate.
This 1963 printing of “The Roosevelt Era” (a “free-pile” find here on the streets of Portland several years ago!) was positive for lead at levels as high as 221 ppm. Since I tested this book I have stopped letting my children read it, although I have held onto it and may read it to them (if they show interest) with thorough hand washing after.
Simple Solution: New books are generally lead-free. Given my children’s disabilities we also LOVE books-on-tape. Here’s a post with some of our favorite (very well done) books on tape! [They are great for road trips too!]
If you appreciate my independent consumer goods testing and childhood lead poisoning prevention advocacy work, please consider chipping in (here) so I can keep doing what I do! Thank you!
As always, if you have any questions – please let me know!