Many products for children have been recalled because they contain dangerous amounts of lead. Other products can also contain lead, but because the products are not intended for children, they are not recalled.
Unfortunately, children can still get access to these products.
For product-specific information, refer to the categories listed below.
Consumer products for children
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a searchable database on toys and other children's products that were found to contain unsafe levels of lead. Type "lead" into the search box.
- Guidance on testing toys and other products (PDF) suspected of containing lead that could result in exposure from lead in toys (PDF) is provided in fact sheets from the National Center for Healthy Housing.
- For guidance on lead in toys and toy jewelry for children, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.
- To check out toys and other products recalled for lead and other safety issues, go to the Safe Kids Worldwide website.
- Read about lead in Mardi Gras beads.
- A parent magazine featured an article about lead in children's products including sidewalk chalk.
- For example, fidget spinners are very popular toys. Many fidget spinners contain lead, but have not been recalled; however, children play with them and can get exposed to lead.
- A report by the Illinois attorney general addresses these popular toys and warns of safety issues associated with them due to choking, fire, and lead hazards.
Home remedies, cultural products, and ceremonial powders
- The CDC provides information on several home remedies that could contain dangerous amounts of lead.
- The Food and Drug Administration warns of imported kohl or kajal make-up found to contain lead and that can be a danger, especially children.
- Red powder used in ceremonies could contain unsafe levels of lead, often worn as a red dot on a woman's forehead to indicate she is married.
Candies and spices
- The California Department of Health tests a variety of candies for lead periodically. Consult their documentation of test results to find which candies should be avoided.
- A nonprofit organization, As You Sow, tested and found lead and other heavy metals in chocolate bars sold in the U.S.
- Warning: Sindoor Contains Lead—A product called "SINDOOR" is often added to food as a food coloring. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert on Dec. 17, 2007, warning consumers not to use the Swad brand Sindoor product because testing conducted by the Illinois Department of Public Health indicated this product contained very high levels of lead, sometimes as high as 87%.
- Cumin in imported spices found to contain lead.
- Lead in fishing sinkers and lures can also be a problem—the dust from the lead in sinkers and lures can get into the tackle box. If a child has access to the tackle box or the actual sinkers or lures, they can be exposed to lead.
- Firearm-related activities, like shot re-loading, casting bullets, firearm cleaning and shooting ranges, can expose children and adults to lead and lead dust.
- Stained-glass making can use lead solder to combine pieces of glass. When the lead solder is heated up, the fumes can be toxic. Anyone exposed to those fumes could become lead poisoned.
- Other more detailed information can be found on the department's webpage, Adult Lead for Workers and All Adults.
- Metal bracelet poisons infant due to lead content.
- Christmas lights pose lead threat: A Cornell University article discussing the results of a study done on Christmas light sets.
- Lead in porcelain and ceramic glazes can be a source of lead exposure. Tips from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to follow when using porcelain and ceramic-glazed products and home maintenance practices.