XRF test results for tiny elf lady!
When tested with a high-precision XRF instrument*, this little (tiny, actually!) female elf figurine had the following readings:
- Lead (Pb): 497,000 +/- 13,000 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 1,151 +/- 466 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 23,700 +/- 1,000 ppm
- Selenium (Se): 2,178 +/- 370 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 2,720 +/- 260 ppm
- Gold (Au): 2,226 +/- 536 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 626 +/- 273 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 78,300 +/- 2,700 ppm
- Bismuth (Bi): 73,900 +/- 2,100 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 315,100 +/- 17,000 ppm
*Test results are science-based, accurate and replicable. Testing was done using a Niton XL3T XRF spectrometer, in Consumer Goods / Test All mode, for a minimum of 30 seconds on each component, with tests repeated multiple times on each component to confirm the accuracy of the results.
How much Lead is “too much” Lead?
Current United States Federal standards mandate that items “intended for use by children” (newly-manufactured items sold today) not be more than 90 ppm Lead in the paint or coating, and not be more than 100 ppm Lead in the substrate (in this case, the metal under the paint.) Needless to say, 497,000 ppm Lead is a LOT of Lead (nearly 50% Lead!), and this would make items like this (vintage cast metal D & D figurines) extremely unsafe for children to play with! Lead is incredibly neurotoxic. My son has a permanent brain injury from being Lead-poisoned as an infant, and this is something we live with every day. I think it is vitally important to understand the impacts of childhood exposure to Lead to help you choose whether or not to keep something like this in your life.
I would personally not choose to have these anywhere in my home, given what I know today. They are especially concerning because of how small they are – and the fact that a toddler could quite easily fit something this size in their mouth (or God forbid, even swallow one) and, with Lead levels this high, become acutely – or fatally – Lead-poisoned.
What should I do with these?
Given I have many fond memories of hours and hours spent playing D & D with my friends as teenager (c. 1984 – 1987), I don’t know if I would personally be able to part with any of these from my childhood if I still had them. “Luckily”, I lost all my figurines when our house burned down in 2002; they all melted into oblivion — so that will never be a consideration for me! I was very sad at the time, as -beyond the trauma of losing our home, and everything in it, I had a huge collection of beloved figurines (and other really cool miniatures), and collecting these things was a main childhood hobby of mine [but I am, in retrospect, glad this is not something that I may have (had I not become knowledgeable about Lead) potentially wound up passing along to my children – and their children]!
So I completely understand the nostalgia – first-hand! I think I would classify these in the category of “art” and historic memorabilia / collectables and, if I were to keep a collection of these, I would make sure I had a fully glass-enclosed (preferably air-tight), locked case to display them in. I would also make sure my children (and any other children in my life) did not have access to them AND I would make sure the children in my life were aware that they are extremely toxic, and should never be played with – or even directly handled. I think to take things one step further (to discourage little hands from ever touching them and playing with them), I might create a “scene” (background forest, hills, etc.), and permanently superglue them in place, so they were less likely to ever again be played with by tiny hands.
The good news….
The great news is that there are amazing new, highly detailed, equally-interesting figurines made and sold today for use by children, and they are usually (but not always) completely Lead-free! I will be posting some more figurine examples shortly – including several new, Lead-free, non-toxic choices of modern D & D figurines.
For some additional reading if you are interested:
- To read more about the testing I do and report here on this blog, click here.
- To see more figurines I have tested, click here.
- To see more Dungeons & Dragons related post (as soon as they are posted), click here.
As always, thank you for reading and sharing my posts.
Please let me know if you have any questions.