Introduction (for those new to this website):
Tamara Rubin is a federal-award-winning independent advocate for consumer goods safety and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children, her sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in 2005. Since 2009 Tamara has been using XRF testing (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals), including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic. All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times, to confirm the test results for each component tested. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February of 2023.
When tested with an XRF instrument, this sewing/cutting/measuring guide (which belonged to a friend of mine who is a quilter) turned out to be painted with Lead paint in all of the markings on the guide.
This sewing tool had the following specific XRF readings
- Lead (Pb): 3,010 +/- 93 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 28 +/- 6 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 5,410 +/- 261 ppm
- Silver (Ag): 13 +/- 4 ppm
- Palladium (Pd): 10 +/- 3 ppm
- Platinum (Pt): 156 +/- 50 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 961 +/- 58 ppm
- Indium (In): 41 +/- 8 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 1,321 +/- 150 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 11,700 +/- 500 ppm
The above test results are from a reading done on the side with the paint accessible (the yellow side). “For fun” I also tested this item on the other side (with the black of the writing visible) to see how diluted the reading would be if this Leaded paint were tested through the approximately 1/8 inch of clear plastic of the item. This is reminiscent of the way that an XRF can still read through vinyl siding on a house to the original Lead painted siding underneath — and I expect the relative differential in test results with siding (compared to the reading of what the original Lead-painted siding might be) is similar to this (an educated guess given most homeowners don’t want someone who is testing their home to remove their vinyl siding to test underneath to get a better reading!).
Continue reading below the image.
This is the “diluted” reading set — through the plastic:
- Lead (Pb): 699 +/- 21 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 31 +/- 3 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 18 +/- 7 ppm
- Silver (Ag): 15 +/- 2 ppm
- Palladium (Pd): 12 +/- 2 ppm
- Platinum (Pt): 59 +/- 21 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 57 +/- 10 ppm
- Indium (In): 41 +/- 5 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 55 +/- 25 ppm
Some additional reading that may be of interest:
- More sewing tools I have tested and reported on.
- More plastic items I have tested.
- My post, which discusses the testing methodology I use for the results I report on this website.
As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts. Please let me know if you have any questions.