The Lead Rating is based on the occurrence and concentration of lead in all tested components of products. Although no amount of lead is safe for children, recently the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended a maximum of 40 ppm of lead in children's products. Products that tested below this level were assigned a LOW level of lead. Toys with lead levels above 40 ppm but below the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recall level of 300 ppm were assigned a MEDIUM level of lead. Products with lead levels greater then 300 ppm are assigned a HIGH level.
Note: The Canadian government is considering a standard of 90 ppm for toys that can be put in children's mouths. The European and U.S. packaging standard for lead is a maximum of 100 ppm. The European toy standard (for migration from toys) is 90 ppm. The US voluntary toy standard (for migration from toys) is 90 ppm. On February 10, 2009 the CPSC adopted the ASTM F973-07 limits for cadmium and other metals(view ASTM standard) as a mandatory standard. The mandatory CPSC standard for lead will be reduced over time:
Lead is sometimes used as an additive in plastics and paints. Exposure to lead has been linked to a variety of health impacts, depending on the exposure level. Lead can harm brain development, with effects including reduced IQ, shorter attention span, and delayed learning. There is no safe level of lead.