Off-Brand Faux Leather Black Button Up Baby Shoes: 3,883 ppm Lead (+ Arsenic!)

These shoes are unbranded with no information about the make or marker.

When tested with an XRF instrument the small buttons (picture below) on these shoes had the following readings:

  • Lead (Pb): 3,883 +/- 77 ppm
  • Mercury (Hg): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Arsenic (As): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Cadmium (Cd): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Antimony (Sb): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Barium (Ba): 274 +/- 133 ppm
  • Nickel (Ni): 15 +/- 9 ppm
  • Any metal not mentioned was also a Non-Detect/Negative reading.

The faux black leather of these shoes had the following XRF readings:

  • Lead (Pb): 270 +/- 22 ppm
  • Mercury (Hg): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Arsenic (As): 51 +/- 17 ppm
  • Cadmium (Cd): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Antimony (Sb): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Barium (Ba): 418 +/- 183 ppm
  • Chromium (Cr): 315 +/- 105 ppm
  • Zinc (Zn): 536 +/- 33 ppm
  • Iron (Fe): 1,237 +/- 88 ppm
  • Bismuth (Bi): 29 +/- 13 ppm
  • Titanium (Ti): 10,500 +/- 700 ppm
  • Nickel (Ni): Non-Detect/Negative
  • Any metal not mentioned was also a Non-Detect/Negative reading.

The tan fabric bottoms (see picture below) had the following XRF readings:

  • Barium (Ba): 733 +/- 202 ppm
  • Chromium (Cr): 145 +/- 95 ppm
  • Bromine (Br): 12 +/- 6 ppm
  • Zinc (Zn): 4,422 +/- 111 ppm
  • Iron (Fe): 136 +/- 41 ppm
  • Vanadium (V): 1,495 +/- 330 ppm
  • Titanium (Ti): 3,148 +/- 517 ppm

Inside fabric lining of shoes:

  • Barium (Ba): 491 +/- 185 ppm
  • Zinc (Zn): 2,958 +/- 75 ppm
  • Iron (Fe): 166 +/- 38 ppm
  • Titanium (Ti): 1,599 +/- 430 ppm

To learn more about XRF Testing, Click Here.

The amount of lead that is considered UNSAFE in an item intended for children is anything 90 ppm or higher in the coating. These shoes are therefore “illegal” in that they are newer (purchased in 2018), specifically made for use by children, and positive for a level far above the 90 ppm threshold.

Because of the potential impact for violations like this, new BRAND NAME baby shoes should be lead free (or at least “Lead-safe” – below 90 ppm lead.)

All of the new brand name baby shoes I have tested recently have been in compliance with current federal regulations. TIP: Avoid any hand-me-down or non-brand-name baby items.

Here is a good amazon link* to a baby shoe that should be lead-safe/lead-free: Baby Moccasins

I used to always purchase Stride Rite for my children when they were little (because they were the most ergonomic at the time). However these days (more than two decades after I started parenting) with the invention of this little thing called the internet (and international suppliers of all sorts of products) there are now many more brands of shoes that are also well designed for babies feet. I have really appreciated some of the Japanese brands in more recent years. They tend to be more expensive ($50 or $60 a pair or more) but they last a long time and are really built for kids to move in.

My kids are older now and I don’t really worry about lead in their shoes, but for those who are curious here are a few examples of the types of shoes I have purchased for them over the years:

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.

Tamara Rubin

*Amazon links are my affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking on one of my affiliate links I may receive a small percentage of what you spend at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my advocacy work in this way.

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