CUED Publications database

Lead-based paint in children's toys sold on China's major online shopping platforms

Shen, Z and Hou, D and Zhang, P and Wang, Y and Zhang, Y and Shi, P and O'Connor, D (2018) Lead-based paint in children's toys sold on China's major online shopping platforms. Environmental Pollution, 241. pp. 311-318. ISSN 0269-7491

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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Lead in paint is a major public health concern and has drawn much attention from international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). However, there is limited research on lead-based paint, especially its use in toys, which poses an explicit health risk to vulnerable children. The present study sampled 100 different toys purchased from the three largest online shopping platforms in China: JD, Taobao (TB) and Tmall (TM). These selected toys have been sold nearly 3 million times in total, suggesting that they may have reached the dwellings of millions of children. It was found that the toys sold by JD and TM, which are considered organized sellers, had average lead concentrations of 25 mg/kg and 32 mg/kg, respectively, much lower than that of toys sold by unorganized sellers on the TB platform, at 219 mg/kg. Approximately 12% of the toys purchased from TB contained paint with total lead concentrations exceeding China's regulatory standard for paints in toy manufacturing, and nearly 36% of the toys purchased from TB exceeded the equivalent US regulatory standard and EU standard. These results suggest that further action is needed to verify the health and safety standards of toys sold by such unorganized sellers. Moreover, this study found that China's regulatory standard (90 mg/kg) based on soluble lead may underestimate the risk posed by lead in paints, and it is suggested that future regulatory thresholds for lead levels in paints for toy manufacture be based on total rather than soluble lead concentrations. The present study also explored various influencing factors on lead concentration, and found that lead concentrations were related to toy price, age group, color, and sales volume. Lead in paint on toys sold on unorganized online shopping platforms may pose risks to children in China.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Blood lead levels Lead concentration Online shopping Pb Toy Child Child, Preschool China Commerce Environmental Exposure Humans Lead Paint Play and Playthings Public Health Reference Standards Specimen Handling World Health Organization
Divisions: Div D > Geotechnical and Environmental
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2018 20:05
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2020 06:54
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.05.078