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Author: Subject: Is the cadmium/lead content in vintage dolls truly dangerous?
Dollgirl
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[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 21:26
Is the cadmium/lead content in vintage dolls truly dangerous?


Hi, I'm not a scientist or anything but I came across this forum via Googling information on cadmium and other toxins after coming across this alarming piece of information, so I guess I'm hear to ask the opinions of some knowledgeable experts. I've been collecting vintage dolls(mostly Barbie-type fashion dolls from the '60s through '80s) for many years now as a hobby, but was alarmed to find out that some vintage dolls contain very high levels of cadmium and lead, much higher than what's currently regulated as "safe". So my qurstion to those who know their stuff about chemicals is: does this really pose a legit health risk to adult collectors?
http://tamararubin.com/2017/12/francie/

Thanks in advance!
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Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 21:46


No, the lead/cadmium content shouldn't pose much of a hazard to a responsible adult. As long as you don't suck on it, eat it, or swallow parts of it the lead and cadmium will not enter your body. Just wash your hands after playing with them and I think you are fine.
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[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 21:53


Someone who knows more will unlikely be here soon. But the short answer is you probably don't need to worry too much.
There was little lead paint used in the 60s-80s. It was starting to be phased out before that.
Secondly, the compounds in question are fairly stable. They are not volatile and so you aren't in any danger of breathing in anything bad. Nor will they penetrate the skin so you can handle them ok.

Lead/cadmium pigments are not appropriate as toys since they suffer a high level of wear and there is the constant danger of ingestion when kids put them near or in the mouth. But as collectables, neither of these two factors presents a real risk.

If you have a doll with a significant amount of flaking paint then it might pay to be a littke more cautious. You can buy lead paint testing kits fairly cheaply. If you discover flaking lead paint then it might be worthwhile having a restorer look at it.

To my knowledge the only cadmium pigments you are likely to encounter are bright yellow (American school bus yellow). I doubt you will find much of that on a doll. But again, if it is flaking then get it looked at.

edit
ninja'd by deathhunter. :)

[Edited on 14-1-2018 by j_sum1]




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[*] posted on 14-1-2018 at 05:09


The use of heavy metal pigments was a serious risk to children- who chew everything, including their toys.
The risk to adult collectors is practically nil.

There are a handful of cadmium based pigments
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmium_pigments
and, of course, paints may contain mixtures of pigments so, for example, a pale yellow might be mainly white lead with a little cadmium yellow.

On a related note there's a risk to kids mainly from toys made in other countries where standards are less well enforced but also from unscrupulous makers anywhere in the world..
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Dollgirl
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[*] posted on 14-1-2018 at 12:01


Thanks for the replies, guys! <3
To clarify,in addition to pigments the legs and arms vintage vinyl dolls sometimes contained a little bit of cadmium compounds as like a plasticizer to give it that rubbery texture, some dolls tested in 700-2000 ppm range, although when you convert that to percentages, it's 0.07%-0.2%, which doesn't sound that high after all if you're not putting it in your mouth. I also heard there's a difference between total and soluble cadmium

[Edited on 14-1-2018 by Dollgirl]
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Dollgirl
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[*] posted on 15-1-2018 at 15:53


http://www.neha.org/sites/default/files/publications/jeh/JEH...

Just found this study which is a pretty good overview of cadmium/lead in vintage '70s and '80s dolls/toys. Here are the findings I found most relevant and interesting:
*In 7 out of 12 '70s/'80s Barbie torsos tested, cadmium was found ranging from 0.0085%-0.0611% cadmium(85-611 ppm). Since sulfur was not measured in the XRF mode used here, it is not possible to see if cadmium follows sulfur content, which might indicate cadmium sulfide pigments. Selenium was not detected in any samples, ruling out the presence of cadmium selenide.
*In the 1970s and 1980s vinyl toys tested, lead and cadmium are most likely part of pigment compounds added for color. The concentrations of lead and cadmium, while high relative to current acceptable limits in toys, are lower than would be expected for stabilizer compounds. If lead-or-cadmium-based stabilizers were present, metal content should be on the order of 1%-3%. The highest weight concentrations in vinyl toys here were around 0.1% cadmium and 0.5% lead.
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[*] posted on 15-1-2018 at 23:55


I only can repeat what others already said before. As long as there is no flaking or powdering of materials from these dolls, there is no need to worry. Just don't saw, drill or otherwise mechanically work these dolls. As collector's items they are perfectly safe.



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