If you’ve picked up something at a consignment sale and are worried about lead in children’s toys, or furniture, or even lead in your house, which is a real concern for houses built before 1978, rather than just worry about whether it might be lead or ignore the problem, you can find out for yourself whether your product contains harmful lead.
3M, along with other brands, have lead test kits you can use to swab items and determine if there are any lead particles in the product. You can read all about why lead is bad here, but the short except is:
Exposure to lead can have a wide range of effects on a child’s development and behavior. Even when exposed to small amounts of lead levels, children may appear inattentive, hyperactive and irritable. Children with greater lead levels may also have problems with learning and reading, delayed growth and hearing loss. At high levels, lead can cause permanent brain damage and even death.
The 3M test kit comes in packs of 2, 8, and 48. I’m thinking most parents would want more than two but less than 48 for the average child. It seems a 24 pack would be optimal but I’m not seeing that in any of the brands.
Oh well, grab a 48 pack and split it with other concerned parents.
Each test kit is a little over $2, and much like Milkscreen Alcohol Test Strips, they’re not reusable or reliable if you’ve just tested something negative and want to attempt something else.
Having seen similar in action, you’ll also need not be red/green colorblind. These will turn a light shade of pink generally with low levels of lead.
You can pick up a 8 pack of lead test kits at Amazon for $20.37, there’s a little price break when you go for the larger 48 pack though, so if you do have some friends who might be interested, probably best to go that route.