OT how do i tell if pewter has lead in it?

just trying to keep a child safe (but its a cool little figurine).
laz

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Laszlo Nemeth writes:

Lead check swaps at any paint store or Wal-Mart.
But hard to believe leaded pewter would dose a kid in any event. Be reasonable.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

ok. will they pick up lead in anything?

local case of lead poisoning a couple years back was traced to a pewter keyfob a kid was playing with (maybe sucking on i dunno). As for reasonable, she won't even notice them missing unless i give them back ;-) or she finds them in the garage next time we take something apart.
laz
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Laszlo Nemeth writes:

So sez the package. The newspaper here did a review and they had a lot of false positives, too.

This also begs skepticism.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

great. where there any they recomended?

http://healthyamericans.org/news/index.php?NewsID &7
search on pewter in this article (near the middle)
http://www.sportscurmudgeon.com/archives/sc31.html
i guess my memory isn't as bad as i thought (no lead poisoning for me (which is a supprise)), since i half remembered a news story from 5 years ago.
laz
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Laszlo Nemeth writes:

More ungrounded paranoia.
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Lead is only an issue if the dust is inhaled or ingested. So unless you are planning to be machining the pewter, you should be fine. More of an issue are antique cast toys with flaking paint that freqently contains lead or heavy metals.
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One other issue I can think of are food containers (e.g., coffee cups, plates, bowls, etc.) with lead-based glazes. The lead can leach out, particularly when the item in question contains acidic foods (like tomato sauce). While I doubt any US manufacturer of kitchen products uses leaded glazes, I'm not so sure about foreign manufacturers (and it seems these days that virtually ALL consumer products are now made overseas or in Mexico). I would have thought that the FTC would prohibit the entry of lead-glazed products, but apparently such is not the case: in a store the other day, I saw a sign near some glazed kitchenware that stated "Products marked with a [yellow triangle symbol, IIRC] contain lead."
The other item that gets the (now ubiquitous) "State of California has determined that the following may cause cancer..." warning is leaded crystal (e.g., decanters). Does anyone know how much lead can leach out of leaded crystal into, say, red wine (which is fairly acidic)?
Or is all this simply more junk science perpetrated by the fear mongers (and class action lawyers)?
- Michael
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Hi Laz.
A specific gravity test is very easy (provided that the figurine is not hollow.)
http://mendosus.com/sg.html
Lead-free pewter should read very close to 7.7 Lead itself is 11.34
Thusly, any reading above 7.7 would suggest lead content. Usual caveats if the figurine is painted.
It *really* is easy, and accurate. Do some tests on known alloys to prove this to yourself.
-- Jeff R.
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