Journal of
Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology

  • Abbreviation: J. Environ. Chem. Ecotoxicol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-226X
  • DOI: 10.5897/JECE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 184

Full Length Research Paper

Heavy metals in children’s toys and baby items commonly sold in Trinidad and Tobago

Terry Mohammed
  • Terry Mohammed
  • Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
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Dimitri Dial
  • Dimitri Dial
  • Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
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Devika Maharaj
  • Devika Maharaj
  • Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
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Carla Smith
  • Carla Smith
  • Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, Trinidad and Tobago.
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Nadia Persad
  • Nadia Persad
  • Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, Trinidad and Tobago.
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Sasha Mohammed
  • Sasha Mohammed
  • Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, Trinidad and Tobago.
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Azad Mohammed
  • Azad Mohammed
  • Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
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  •  Received: 05 May 2020
  •  Accepted: 04 June 2020
  •  Published: 30 June 2020

Abstract

Children’s toys and baby items are a unique source of exposure to heavy metals in young children. It is a global health concern because of the potential risk heavy metals pose during the early years of childhood development. This study assessed the levels of six heavy metals (lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu)) in eleven toys and seven baby items currently sold in Trinidad and Tobago. Samples were analysed using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (FAAS). The concentrations of Pb, Mn, Ni, Cr, Cd and Cu ranged from 2.63 to 34.45 mg/kg, 0.03 to 4.22 mg/kg, 2.28 to 16.95 mg/kg, 0.95 to 14.10 mg/kg, 0.002 to 4.14 mg/kg and 0.03 to 2.15 mg/kg, respectively. Two samples exceed the regulatory limit for lead and one exceeded the regulatory limit for cadmium set by the EU. The ingestion risk (ADD) for lead, nickel and chromium in toys and baby items ranged between 3 × 10-5 and 1.0 × 10-4, 3.1 × 10-5 and 2.3 × 10-4 and 1.0 × 10-5 and 2.0 × 10-4 respectively. The HQ values for lead, nickel and chromium in toys and baby items ranged between 0.0070-0.1150, 0.0015-0.0113, and 0.0036-0.0627, respectively, while the hazard index (HI) ranged between 0.0156 and 0.1447. The results suggest that these toys and baby items generally posed a low risk to children.

Key words: Children toys, Trinidad and Tobago, health risk.