Study Finds Lead in Quarter of Dog Toys

As I was perusing the North American Veterinary Conference Clinician's Brief the other day, a blurb about lead in canine tennis balls caught my eye....

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Nov 18th 2009


As I was perusing the North American Veterinary Conference Clinician’s Brief the other day, a blurb about lead in canine tennis balls caught my eye. A quick Google search brought up the article mentioned in the Brief.

Healthystuff.org has been independently testing various consumer products for toxins over the last few years. Here is a bit of what the site had to say about pet toys.

HealthyStuff.org tested over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes, and tennis balls. Since there are no government standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products, it is not surprising that toxic chemicals were found.

45% of pet products tested had detectable levels of one or more hazardous chemical, including:

  • One-quarter of all pet products had detectable levels of lead.
  • 7% of all pet products have lead levels greater than 300 ppm — the current CPSC lead standard for lead in children’s products.
  • Nearly half of pet collars had detectable levels of lead; with 27% exceeding 300 ppm — the CPSC limit for lead in children’s products.
  • One half (48%) of tennis balls tested had detectable levels of lead. Tennis balls intended for pets were much more likely to contain lead. Sports tennis balls contained no lead.
  • Lead poisoning affects many systems in the body. Learning and cognitive difficulties are a common feature of lead poisoning. This means that my pal Buster, who loves playing fetch and no doubt has consumed ample lead from various balls, may have to give up on his dream of a Nobel Prize in economics.

    Photo: I hope that’s a sport tennis ball. By Bruce.

    Editor’s Note: Here is a list of toys, beds, collars and more Healthy Stuff has found with high levels of lead. Also see their list of pet products of medium concern.

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