Heavy and Harmful Metals


Children’s and other household products, including inexpensive jewelry; arsenic- soil, drinking water.

health EFFECTS

Effects on brain, development, learning and behavior; organ damage; cancer 

More Details

Heavy and harmful metals, including lead, cadmium, mercury, antimony, and arsenic can be added to children's products or show up as contaminants. Lead, mercury, and cadmium are toxic to the brain and arsenic exposure is associated with neurotoxicity, cardiovascular disease and other adverse effects. Arsenic and arsenic compounds are primarily added as a hardening agent or as a contaminant. Antimony is frequently in children’s products both as a contaminant and for functions such as coloration, hardening, strength, protective coating and as a flame retardant. Exposure to antimony is associated with eye and lung irritation and adverse effects on heart, lung and the digestive system. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists cadmium and arsenic as known carcinogens, certain lead compounds as probable carcinogens, and antimony trioxide as a possible human carcinogen. It does not classify Mercury.i


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) summaries for the these metals:

IARC list of cancer-causing chemicals

Manufacturer reporting of the presence of chemicals to Washington State, including their "function" in the product can be found in the Child Safe Products Act database.