October 14, 2022 – Friday
This small plastic black and white toy horse made by Greenbrier International (the company that makes toys for the Dollar Store / Dollar Tree chains) tested positive for a very high level of Lead: 3,382 ppm Lead (see full XRF test results below.) It also tested positive for an extremely high level of Antimony (which was added to the list of carcinogens in December, 2021 [but the CPSC does not currently have a published regulatory limit for Antimony in toys]). The amount of Lead that is considered unsafe / toxic / illegal in a modern toy intended for use by children is 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint or coating, and 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate (the base material of the toy – in this case, the plastic.) In testing this toy, it appears that the Lead is in the plastic substrate – as levels were consistent across the toy (on each of the different colored areas of the toy.)
I don’t know what year this toy was made (I am trying to reach the person who sent this in for me to test to see if they know any more), however since the serial number for the toy is clearly imprinted on the belly of the toy (see the second image above), I am going to report this to the Consumer Product Safety Commission as a CPSIA violation, to see if we can get a formal recall initiated.
In general I don’t have concerns for modern (new) toys purchased at the Dollar Tree Stores – because they have been cited for so many violations over the years, that they are (seemingly) doing better now than they have in the past. It is for this reason I think this may be an older toy (possibly dating back 5 years or more), but there are always exceptions. If you have this toy, and you know for sure when it was purchased, please contact me via a comment on this post and I will update the post with any new additional information I learn.
If you have this toy (and if it was purchased as a set with multiple toys that are similar) please remove this and any related toys from your child’s toy box immediately. The primary concern for a toy like this is the possibility that a younger child might mouth the toy, which could result in Lead-poisoning via an ingestion pathway. I would also be concerned with frequent handling of the toy as well as the potential for deterioration of the plastic over time. This is a VERY HIGH level of Lead, and concerns for this particular toy should be taken very seriously. While use of a single toy like this may or may not be cause for a child’s Blood Lead Level (BLL) to be elevated, if your child has this toy (or a similar toy from Greenbrier International) that they have played with recently AND if your child has not gotten a BLL test at their pediatrician’s in the past 6 months or so, you may want to consider requesting a BLL test for you child so that you at least have a baseline and can rule out any potential exposure. You can read more about that on this link and on this link. This article also discusses the concern in greater detail – link.
Full reading set using XRF Technology
This reading was taken on the black part of the horse (note: readings on white were similar)
Readings repeated multiple times to confirm the results
- Lead (Pb): 3,382 +/- 88 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): non-detect
- Tin (Sn): 323 +/- 18 ppm
- Mercury (Hg): non-detect
- Selenium (Se): non-detect
- Barium (Ba): 530 +/- 73 ppm
- Arsenic (As): non-detect
- Chromium (Cr): non-detect
- Antimony (Sb): 1,109 +/- 33 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 134 +/- 39 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 405 +/- 35 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 162 +/- 11 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 742 +/- 106 ppm
- Chlorine (Cl): 360,000 ppm
- No other metals detected in consumer goods mode.
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. Tamara’s sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in August of 2005. She began testing consumer goods for toxicants in 2009 and was the parent-advocate responsible for finding Lead in the popular fidget spinner toys in 2017. Her work was also responsible for two CPSC product recalls in the summer of 2022, the Jumping Jumperoo recall (June 2022) and the Lead painted NUK baby bottle recall (July 2022) and was featured in an NPR story about Lead in consumer goods in August of 2022. Tamara uses 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 and reported on. Please click through to this link to learn more about the testing methodology used for the test results discussed and reported on this website.
Victoria Lee says
Tamara, thank you for offering to report this to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Your workload just never ends, does it?
I have a question about using your Amazon affiliate link.
If I click on your affiliate link, and then click through to switch to Amazon.ca (because I live in Canada), would you still get your commission?
It would make me very happy to support your work.
Much gratitude for everything that you do,