Oh the irony!
When tested with an XRF instrument, this pink “Breast Cancer Awareness” key tested positive for a high level of LEAD. Lead can cause humans to have a significantly compromised immune system – which in turn can create a biological environment conducive to the growth of cancerous tumors. This is especially concerning in an item that one might hold and use every single day. This is a remarkable “pink washing” effort by the Hillman Group (the manufacturer of this key, which was sold in September 2019 at a Fred Meyer store in Portland, Oregon.)
Lead in keys is NOT illegal.
Children often handle and play with keys (or are even given keys to play with by their adults) and, as such, Lead in keys SHOULD be illegal. For context, if an item is made and sold expressly as something for a child to use, it is illegal for that item to test positive for 90 ppm (or higher) in the paint, glaze or coating or anything 100 ppm (or higher) in the substrate. Most keys are made of Leaded brass; while the paint on this key is likely Lead-free, the XRF is reading through the paint to the highly-Leaded brass substrate below [once the key blank is cut into an actual key, that heavily-Leaded brass substrate is, of course, rendered uncoated along it’s length, and constitutes a Lead-exposure source.]
Here are the exact readings of this key when tested with the XRF:
- Lead (Pb): 11,800 +/- 600 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 334 +/- 99 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 364,400 +/- 2,600 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 561,500 +/- 3,000 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 1,890 +/- 264 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,317 +/- 280 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 57,100 +/- 1,300 ppm
Check out the image below…
…these keys are DEFINITELY designed to entice children, regardless of whether or not the manufacturer says they intended to be used by kids!
Don’t let your kids play with your keys – okay? Also, please try to avoid purchasing “pink-washed” items like this (items marketed as supporting breast cancer awareness and research when they actually are made out of substances that is known to contribute to or cause cancer.)
[If you want a fun key alternative, please check out my sponsor Kleynimals and their Lead-free *real metal* toy key offerings… link here! Kleynimals even has a discount code for Lead Safe Mama readers!]
As always, thank you for being here!
Please let me know if you have any questions.