When tested with an XRF instrument, this Yellow Submarine Beatles pin [with no maker’s mark or information to indicate country of origin or year of manufacture*] had the following readings:
On the decorative enamel front of the pin:
- Lead (Pb): 447,400 +/- 2,700 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 6,766 +/- 346 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 531 +/- 147 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 16,500 +/- 600 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 764 +/- 124 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 4,602 +/- 319 ppm
- Gold (Au): 6,464 +/- 903 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 7,410 +/- 587 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 330,800 +/- 2,500 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 170,300 +/- 2,200 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,844 +/- 554 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 4,116 +/- 456 ppm
On the gold-colored back of the pin:
- Chromium (Cr): 284 +/- 111 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 245 +/- 103 ppm
- Gold (Au): 17,300 +/- 1,200 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 785,300 +/- 2,400 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 194,100 +/- 2,000 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,053 +/- 236 ppm
- Silver (Ag): 113 +/- 48 ppm
- Cobalt (Co): 425 +/- 169 ppm
Test results are science-based, accurate, and replicable. As with all testing reported on this blog, a high-precision Niton XRF was used in “Consumer Goods” mode. Tests were done for at least 60 seconds each, and repeated on each component tested to confirm the levels found.
*This belonged to my eldest son when he was very small (he was born in 1996) – and I believe it was purchased new prior to our house fire (August 2002)…so that might date it’s manufacture at somewhere between 1996 – 2002).
Before I tested this I said to my son “This is pretty heavy!”
Prior to testing this lapel pin I was not 100% sure if it had Lead or not (but thought it might because of how heavy it was!) and frankly I was truly hoping that it did not – especially at such high levels [I had, however, kept it away from my children for quite some time – just in case]!
In general, I warn parents that this sort of enamel pin can be positive for very high levels of Lead. This may not be a problem – if it is not deteriorating at all. Newer pins like this are likely to be Lead-free, but that is not always the case. Ever since I learned how high-Lead this sort of thing can be (generally in the 100,000 to 300,000 ppm range, but sometimes 600,000 ppm Lead or higher in the decorated enamel elements!), I have stopped purchasing these types of items for my children – more out of a “political” (environmentalist) stance than out of a concern for possible immediate health impacts. With an item like this (that is not used in the kitchen/around food, and does not go in the mouth, and is not as likely to be used as a fidget because it has sharp points!), my concern is for the mining, refining and manufacture of any toxic heavy metals that might go in to making the things (and how that impacts the workers and the environment) more than the potential that it might impact the end user directly.
Some additional reading:
- To see more enamel items I have tested, click here.
- To see more costume Jewelry I have tested, click here.
As always, thank you for reading and sharing my posts.
Please let me know if you have any questions/