Lead test kits?

With all of the news surrounding toys made in China, I’m basically assuming there are other toys/products in our home containing lead that just haven’t been recalled yet. I’ve read (in Today’s Parent magazine, which loves to promote fear mongering) that you can buy lead test kits in hardware stores, but that they’re not always accurate. Does anyone have any knowledge of or experience with these kits? How do they work? Do they have accuracy problems? Should I look into buying one or am I just a completely paranoid first time parent?

My understanding is that they’re not accurate if the lead containing part has been topcoated with non lead containing stuff. So if you have, say, a piece of wood with red lead paint and then a clearcoat on top, the lead smudge stick won’t work. As long as the item remains intact, there’s no safety concern either, but little kids are known to gnaw on toys, meaning they could bite through the clearcoat and into the lead paint underneath.

Whether or not you think it’s enough of a risk is really only something you can determine.

jbarro, here is an article that might be helpful. I would have to say that the toys wouldn’t concern me as much as the house itself and the mini-blinds.

Hope this helps.

As is the case with many things in life, you get what you pay for. A $5 kit is going to give you a rough indicator if lead is present. It’s more of a yes/no test, and in no way can be considered a quantitative analysis. Those kits are also designed to be used on painted surfaces of 1978 and older “target” dwellings, not the Hello Kitty charm bracelet you just got at the dollar store. Yes, you’re being fueled by first time parental paranoia-it passes with time, thankfully. :slight_smile:

Thanks so much for the information. I guess I really should try to relax a bit, or alternately, start stressing out about the pre-1978 home we live in :eek: At least we don’t have any mini-blinds.