What are heavy metals?
The chemical definition of a heavy metal is a chemical element with a specific gravity that is at least 5 times the specific gravity of water. Examples of heavy metals include cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel, zinc and many more.
What are the risks from exposure to heavy metals?
Interestingly, small background levels of these elements are common in the environment but large amounts of any of them may cause acute or chronic toxicity (poisoning). This is why regular heavy metals testing and analysis especially within industry is so important.
Why you need to cleanse your supply chain of heavy metals
Heavy metals are the most commonly legislated chemicals globally.
The combination of the large number of available heavy metals and their toxic affects coupled with the vast array of uses for these metals has amounted to a number of different EU and international legislations which aim to control and restrict their uses. Among these are REACH regulations, the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH), California Proposition 65, and metal specific directives such as the Nickel Directive and EN71-3, a European standard governing the safety of toys where Part 3 of the regulations covers the migration of elements, which is fast becoming the standard to be used for heavy metal safety and assurance for consumer products including leather and leather-based products.
In addition to this heavy metals are regulated under CPSIA which sets restrictions for lead in paint and substrate.