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.
Vintage items (especially vintage plastic items and vintage jewelry – and costume jewelry in general) often contain very high levels of Lead and 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 1973, just about when it would have been interesting to me, as a four-year-old child!] 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; these 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 1973 vintage Avon “Fragrance Glacé” perfume pin had the following readings (with a 2-minute/120 second test):
Focus on pink area of ear:
- Lead (Pb): 10,900 +/- 100 ppm
- Arsenic (As): 192 +/- 42 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 1,477 +/- 60 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 19 +/- 5 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 5,913 +/- 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 metal pin on back:
- Lead (Pb): 31,300 +/- 1,200 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 1,416+/- 141 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 33,600 +/- 1,200 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 176,500 +/- 5,600 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 60,000 +/- 1,800 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 443 +/- 115 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 1,800 +/- 155 ppm
- Indium (In): 61 +/- 21 ppm
- Silver (Ag): 22 +/- 10 ppm
- Magnesium (Mn): 881 +/- 178 ppm
Focus on plain yellow plastic elements:
- Lead (Pb): 9,744 +/- 98 ppm
- Arsenic (As): 492 +/- 41 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 1,797 +/- 66 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 18 +/- 5 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 2,410 +/- 191 ppm
As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts. Please let me know if you have any questions.