A total number of 51 toys manufactured from different countries were purchased and analysed to determine the level of lead, cadmium, chromium and nickel in the plastic components which was digested with concentrated HNO3 (CPSC-CH-E1002-08 method) and analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) to determine heavy metal concentration. The results obtained show that lead, cadmium, chromium and nickel were high and ranged 28.5 to 12600 mg/kg Pb; 0.15 to 9.55 mg/kg Cd; 1.30 to 394.50 mg/kg Cr, and 5.9 to 1911 mg/kg Ni. A comparison of the mean concentration of these metals in the toys sample analyzed showed the following pattern: Pb>Ni>Cr>Cd. Compared with the elemental concentration threshold limits concentration (TTLC) of 90, 75 and 60 mg/kg for lead, cadmium and chromium respectively, Consumer Product Safety Commission, USA, Bureau of Indian Standard and Thailand Industrial Standard for Toys suggest that these toys are hazardous and therefore not safe for children use. This underscores the need for urgent national policy and resolution control on the removal of heavy metals especially lead from children toys.
Key words: Heavy metals, total threshold limit concentration, plastic toys, atomic absorption spectroscopy.
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