When tested with an XRF the stickers pictured here had the following reading (likely the inks in the paper and possibly the glitter as well):
- Lead (Pb): 6,385 +/- 87 ppm
- Arsenic (As): 132 +/- 43 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 32 +/- 7 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 566 +/- 35 ppm
This is especially horrific for me, as I clearly remember playing with stickers just like this at my grandparents home 40 or 45 years ago. I remember the embossed texture of the paper. I remember licking the stickers and putting them on things (making artwork collages, decorating shoe boxes, etc.) These were clearly designed to be interacted with by young children yet are toxic to such an extreme (especially given the intended use) that they should NEVER have been played with by any young children ever.
The amount of Lead that is considered unsafe in an item intended for use by children (by modern standards) is anything 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint or coating and anything 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate. These stickers are toxic by any measure.
Of course the refrain when I publish something like this (a vintage item that many of us remember playing with as very young children) is “Hey, well… it can’t be that big of a problem… because look at me… I turned out fine!” Here’s a link with my response to that set of considerations.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. Please scroll down to see all of the images!
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.