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The Hamilton Spectator
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Thursday December 6, 2007
Sales of do-it-yourself lead-test kits are up this season. Dozens of toys contaminated with lead have been recalled over the past year, so it's not a surprise that parents want to know whether their holiday toys are tainted.

There are at least five home test kits on the market. One, called Abotex Lead Inspector, was developed by Dave Lachance.

He gives a demonstration of the product using a toy car he picked up from a dollar store. He dips a Q-tip-like swab into a small vial of clear solution, and then rubs it on the car.

"You'll do this for 30 seconds, and then you'll start to see a color develop when the lead reacts," Lachance says.

It can take up to 10 minutes for the color to turn if there's a low concentration of lead. But in Lachance's demonstration, the color began appearing pretty quickly.

"You can start to see it's turning to a very dark black color, indicating that this particular car has a high concentration of lead," he says.

The toy car carried no brand name, and other than a "Made in China" sticker, it wasn't labeled. Given the volume of recalls this year, Lachance says it's not a surprise at all to find lead in this toy. Source...

Testing Toys for Lead
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