Havering Council uses x-ray guns to check toys for dangerous metals

Havering Council is using x-ray guns to check toys for metals that can cause damage to the brain.

The council is one of the first London boroughs to use the latest technology to test toys.

High levels of lead, sometimes found in paint on toys, can cause damage to the brain and nervous system and affect children’s development.

Council trading standard officers tested 18 toys bought from stores from across the borough for the presence of the heavy metals, especially lead in paint.

Two of the 18 toys were found to have traces of lead which were sent off for formal testing to see if the lead content infringes safety regulations. Tests proved them to be safe.


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Using the gun saves the council money because it only pays to have toys sent away for formal testing which are known to have lead present.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is very good news for shoppers that none of the toys we tested were found to be unsafe.

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“We are always looking to find new and cost-effective ways of protecting the public.”

The x-ray fluorescence gun was lent to the borough by the National Measurement Office.

They will be doing another test using the x-ray gun later this year.

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