I have long recommended avoiding toys like this. They fall in line with Mardi Gras beads (you can see test results for some of those here). Inexpensive plastic items with sparkly / iridescent paint more-often-than-not has a least some Lead (although there are a lot of exceptions with brand new toys.)
This particular magic wand is a concern in that (as I understood from the owner) it was newly purchased in the last year (it was given to me in April of 2019 in Florida) and young children were playing with it. This week, the minute I took it out and put it on my desk to photograph so I could write this post my 11 year old son instantly went to grab it to play with it. These types of toys are VERY attractive to young children and therefore should really be as strictly regulated as possible.
While the Lead test results for the magic wand pictured here are much much lower than what I have seen in older similar plastic toys or beads, the reading of 155 ppm still fall far above the CPSC regulatory limit of 90 ppm Lead (for the paint, glaze or coating of an item intended for use by children) or 100 ppm Lead for the substrate. At these levels I cannot say if it would specifically be a poisoning risk to a child (that depends on whether or not the child might put it in their mouth or whether or not the paint / coating was wearing)… BUT regardless of whether or not it presents a hazard at this moment in time it IS illegal by virtue of the fact that it is higher than the current regulatory limit for children’s items. To note as well: United States regulatory standards have never historically been about protecting our citizens but more about complying with the limits of what industry says they can achieve, so I do consider a consumer good with a lead level of 155 ppm to be a problem – even though it is a level that is far below (for example) some of the dishes I have tested (link).
I am not 100% sure if this was purchased at a Dollar Tree store (or similar) but I am waiting to hear back from the original owner to see if she has additional information. I have (since I received this as a “gift” in April) seen this exact wand (in many different colors) at Dollar Tree type stores – so I do think it is likely that is where it came from. This item is now in my collection of “Leaded junk” that I eventually intend to incorporate into a museum exhibit. There is no mark or maker or country of origin imprinted on the plastic of this item.
Exact full XRF test results for this magic wand.
When tested with an XRF instrument this toy had the following readings (I am reporting three separate test results sets below – representing different elements of the wand in the scope each time):
Test set one – on the star alone:
- Lead (Pb): 155 +/- 14 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 24,500 +/- 400 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 46 +/- 26 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 106 +/- 7 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 198 +/- 21 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 38 +/- 21 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,394 +/- 81 ppm
Test set two – on the join point of the star and the handle:
- Lead (Pb): 139 +/- 13 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 22,600 +/- 300 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 70 +/- 25 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 98 +/- 6 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 155 +/-19 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 43 +/- 19 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,209 +/- 75 ppm
Test set three – on the handle alone:
- Lead (Pb): 129 +/- 14 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 24,000 +/- 400 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 92 +/- 7 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 168+/- 21 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 45 +/- 23 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,263 +/- 84 ppm
Metals listed in bold and red are potentially toxic in children’s items. Each test was done using a freshly calibrated XRF instrument in “consumer goods” mode. Each testing time was for at least 60 seconds (until the numbers stopped fluctuating.) Results are replicable, science-based and accurate. Metals not listed in the above test results set were not detected by the XRF when testing in consumer goods mode.
Please stop buying cheap plastic crap for your kids. It is bad for the environment and potentially bad for your children’s health. Instead – for a fun birthday party activity – collect a bunch of wand-length sticks and have the children decorate them with found objects to create their own customized magic wands! [Look at the huge success of the Harry Potter style wands! I just wish they hadn’t replicated them in plastic!]
As always, please let em know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.