The amount of Lead that is considered toxic in a newly manufactured item intended for use by children today is anything 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint or coating, or anything 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate.
Modern consumer goods are considered unsafe an illegal in the country of Denmark if they have Cadmium levels at 75 ppm and higher. In Washington State the hazard level for total Cadmium content is 40 ppm or higher. There is no United States federal hazard level for total Cadmium content as detectable with an XRF instrument.
Vintage items (especially vintage plastic items and vintage jewelry – and costume jewelry in general) often contain very high levels of Lead and Cadmium (and sometimes Arsenic and Mercury too) and (in the absence of testing every specific piece in your collection, which can be a very expensive proposition!) should never be given to children to play with.
I am almost 50 years old, and I clearly remember playing with these plastic perfume pins as a child [I was born in 1969 and this particular pin is from 1977.] Many friends my age are now grandmothers(!) — grandmothers who have held on to things from their childhood to pass along to their children for their grandchildren to play with. Please think twice before doing this; most vintage items are decidedly not safe for children to play with — it literally takes just a microscopic amount of Lead to poison a child.
When tested with an XRF instrument (the same instrument used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC] to determine if items are safe for use by children), this 1977 vintage Avon “Fragrance Glacé” perfume Easter egg pin had the following readings (with a 60-second test):
Focus on yellow plastic area:
- Lead (Pb): 381 +/- 16 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 6,018 +/- 76 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 932 +/- 111 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 10 +/- 2 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 1,347 +/- 30 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 364 +/- 242 ppm
- If a metal is not listed it was not detected by the XRF (unless otherwise noted, all testing done on this site is in “Consumer Goods” mode)
Focus on purple plastic area (back):
- Lead (Pb): 1,359 +/- 30 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 1,985 +/- 29 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 308 +/- 84 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 11+/- 3 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 2,220 +/- 39 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 31 +/- 18 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 11,200 +/- 400 ppm
Focus on chick’s face inside egg (orange beak):
- Lead (Pb): 6,759 +/- 101 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 2,984 +/- 49 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 930 +/- 75 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 1,107 +/- 28 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 37 +/- 21 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 1,243 +/- 255 ppm
As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts. Please let me know if you have any questions.