Are Legos® nontoxic? Lead-Safe? Lead-Free?
Well for those who are here for a quick answer: Yes, new Legos® are safe!
I have personally never tested any new Legos® (new in the past 14 years) that were positive for any the main four toxicants I look for in my work (Lead, Mercury, Arsenic and Cadmium.) Now go away and buy yourself some Legos®! 🙂 (here’s a link and you can start your Legos® shopping with this* – or not! I think my kids got the tiny version of this at one point.) To prove how much I like Legos®, the picture here is MY FOOT in just one of the giant Legos® piles in our home (the kids drag them around on sheets so they can be picked up in a hurry if necessary).
Continue reading below the image for more information…
including the concern for toxic heavy metals in vintage legos.
How is it you know new Legos are safe?
For those who would like to read my story to learn WHY I know this, please continue. 🙂
This is what I responded to my friend who asked me about this on Facebook earlier today:
Yes!!! We have more Legos® than any family should.
When I was growing up, we never had any plastic toys in my family home. The three boys who lived next door had a very traditional and typical American family (Their mom, Mrs. Caleb Marsh reminded me of June Cleaver and they were a very old family in Hingham — “came-over-on-the-Mayflower” kind of family) and since they had only boys – they always had Legos®, and I was so very jealous of them! Their mother used to let me go over to their house and play in their playroom by myself so I could play with all of the “boy” toys! HUGE baskets of Legos® and HUGE baskets of Hotwheels®- type cars. Those were basically the only toys there, and I would play over there by myself for HOURS sometimes as a very young girl (4-5-6 years old)!
So when I grew up, I KNEW that my children were going to have Legos® — ALL the Legos® [because I loved playing with Legos® so much as a kid and never had any!] …and also as many *toy cars* as they wanted).
So since our kids were poisoned (in 2005), and we had to throw out most of their toys and start over (almost 14 years ago), [and after the crazy backfired experience of deciding to buy them only TRAINS, read more about that here] we have bought them ONLY Legos®…. well, and ART SUPPLIES (and maybe a handful of board games). That’s pretty much it (with rare exceptions like a pogo stick, a yo-yo, rocks and shells from geology and aquatic stores and that kind of thing.)
As a result I have had the opportunity to test LOTS of Legos® for folks (maybe a thousand?, at this point, I would imagine). So yes, I LOVE Legos®; they are totally fine [the new ones, not the vintage ones — the vintage ones, like many other vintage plastic items, can have Lead, Arsenic and Cadmium), and as I said, I have tested countless new ones to confirm they are safe.
To see several posts with the XRF test results for vintage Legos that I have personally tested using XRF technology, click here.
As a parent, I did not actually buy many of our Legos® myself, but the grandparents would ask what the kids wanted for gifts when they visited, and we always said “Legos®!” (it’s such a no-brainer, easy gift for the grandparents to get — and the kids to be super-excited about, no matter what set it is and no matter how old they are!) Before the grandparents died (and after the kids were poisoned), our boys got Legos® every year, from each grandparent, each time they visited (which was usually at least twice a year each – so that’s a lot of Legos® over nearly 11 years with four boys in the house!) We haven’t had a substantial Legos® infusion for more than three years, now… [My mom passed away three years ago in May and Len’s Dad passed away shortly after.] When our whole legal battle is over, we’ll probably go on a “Legos® binge” to make up for the past three years – lol!
One possible exception to the full green light on Legos® (when it comes to Lead): At one point I remember I heard about a recall of a Star Wars Legos® set (because some decorative painted elements had lead in the paint) – maybe 10+ years ago, but I have not been able to find nor confirm evidence of the issue anywhere online (if you find a link referencing this, please share it with me.)
The single most important rule with Legos® (or any plastic toys):
Avoid vintage (and avoid yard sales — where you don’t know that all of them are newer production), but buy up all the new Legos® with confidence.
To see more vintage plastic items I have tested with an XRF instrument, click here.
To see more vintage toys I have tested (plastic and otherwise), click here.
What a great company across the board too! I love them [they are releasing them made out of plant-based plastics soon!] When we went to Denmark (three years ago, on our first family trip out of the country) we tried to visit the factory, but it was closed for tours because it was late November (and what kind of crazy tourists visit Denmark in November!) 🙁 – This was a huge disappointment for my kiddos!
Because I have always been so confident with new Legos® (since my boys were poisoned) I have never bothered to create a blog post about them because I considered them all to be safe. Today I was nudged by a friend that he could not find any posts about Legos® on my blog, so I wanted to just create this as a formal answer to those who are looking up this question here on my blog!
As always, thank you for reading and sharing my posts. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Meghan Fuller says
Any idea around what year they stopped using lead & other toxins in Legos? I have friends of different ages with old collections from their childhoods but don’t know when the approximate cut off is for safe bs unsafe.
I don’t yet have that information. As with other vintage plastics I assume that anything newer than early 1990s is likely safe, but since they are not marked or labeled it is hard for me to know based on my testing. Definitely the last 15 years have been toxicant free (in my experience – based on the legos I have for my boys.)
Joyce Hazard says
Tamera, this is my second comment in your blogs about Dulpos and I asked you about this in messenger but i haven’t gotten an answer back yet. Have you tested or have any info on Duplos? I didn’t realize they came out in 1961 so now i’m a little curious if they are the same story as legos.
I’ve been getting hundreds of comments and messages each day recently and cannot get to them all – sorry about that. I have not personally tested any vintage Duplos that have been positive for Lead – but I understand that is the case with some of them (they have unsafe levels of toxicants including Lead and Cadmium.) Here’s the only related post I have up on my blog right now: https://tamararubin.com/2017/12/asktamara-are-new-fisher-price-mega-bloks-lead-free/
Hello! Our family loves legos. As a child, I loved playing with them! My husband and I, with our 3 year old (also 3 mo.) spend a majority of our play time with legos — especially so since the winter is here in New England! I even saved all my legos since I was a Child (1991) and I know I have older sets. I never realized or ever put a thought to lead or other toxins in them. We basically have many of the new sets now for our son — and the new sets are so cool! His favorites have recently been police themed. Anyways, here’s a cool product (made in USA) that I wanted to share: https://www.swoopbags.com/collections/all-large-swoop-bags
Unsure of the precise materials in regards to testing for toxins, but the idea is ingenious for legos! Anyways, thanks for your website! 🙂
Have you ever tested the off brand ones ??? Someone gifted my son some i think they’re called something like kids @ work they’re mega blocks.