Vintage Radio Shack Phone: 1,850 ppm Lead. Remember these things? [Phones? Radio Shack?!]

Vintage Radio Shack Phone: 1,850 ppm Lead. Remember these things? [Phones? Radio Shack?!]

This vintage Radio Shack brand phone had the following readings when tested with an XRF instrument:

  • Lead (Pb): 1,850 +/- 43 ppm
  • Cadmium (Cd): Non-Detect (Nd)
  • Arsenic (As): Non-Detect (Nd)
  • Mercury (Hg): Non-Detect (Nd)
  • Antimony (Sb): 190 +/- 28 ppm
  • Barium (Ba): Non-Detect (Nd)
  • Chromium (Cr):  Non-Detect (Nd)
  • Selenium (Se): Non-Detect (Nd)

People often hold on to these phones to give to their children or grandchildren to play with. I definitely do NOT recommend doing that.

With this particular phone the Lead was found in the main yellowish/tan plastic of the phone. With other vintage phones there can be Lead in ALL components, especially the curly cords that young children are highly likely to chew on.

These are not toys and are not safe to use as toys in my opinion.

The amount of Lead that is considered toxic in a newly manufactured item intended for use by children is 90 ppm Lead (or higher) in the paint or coating or 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate (like the base plastic of a toy.) So if this were a newly manufactured item it would not be considered safe for children to use.

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

Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.

Tamara Rubin
#LeadSafeMama Vintage Radio Shack Phone: 1,850 ppm Lead. Remember these things? [Phones? Radio Shack?!] Vintage Radio Shack Phone: 1,850 ppm Lead. Remember these things? [Phones? Radio Shack?!]

2 Responses to Vintage Radio Shack Phone: 1,850 ppm Lead. Remember these things? [Phones? Radio Shack?!]

  1. Nicole February 23, 2019 at 9:44 am #

    I dont get cell phone reception at home so i have a push button phone from AT&T. I didnt know phones could have lead in them. How can i go about finding a lead free phone? ty.

    • Tamara February 23, 2019 at 10:52 pm #

      Hi Nicole,

      A newer phone will likely be lead-free in the plastic, but the cords will likely have lead (especially the curly ones) even if they are brand new. If you can get a straight cord for the handset that might be lead-free. Sorry I don’t have more specific recommendations on that one!

      Tamara

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