hexavalent chromium in toysDid you know that the European Union directive for toy safety (Directive 2009/48/EC [downloadable PDF]) is currently under revision and proposes trace level determinations of several elements including hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) (link to Wikipedia page) in toy materials that may affect exposed children?

In case you are new to the presence of chromium in water, textiles, leather, and now toys, here’s a bit of information about it. Not all forms of chromium are toxic but it turns out that chromium in two forms–Cr (VI) and Cr(III)–can be used in pigments while Cr (III) is used in wood preservatives and both chromium compounds can be used in textiles. But, as only hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) is a highly toxic carcinogen, hence, it is important to discriminate between the oxidation states of chromium and to get a quantitative risk assessment of materials such as toys and toy materials.

In this recently released Application Note 43175, The Migration of Elements from Toys and Speciation of Chromium (VI) in Toy Material Using a IC-ICP-MS Solution (downloadable PDF), chemists from our German facility present how the metal-free combination of Ion Chromatography with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a powerful tool for the speciation analysis of Cr (VI). They analyzed finger paint, pen ink, and a titanium dioxide raw material that is used in many toy products.

The method development setup included the use of our metal-free, starter line ion chromatography system (Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-900 system equipped with our automated sample handler (Thermo Scientific Dionex AS-DV Autosampler) coupled to one of our standard ICP-MS systems (Thermo Scientific iCAP Q ICP-MS systems). And, Cr (VI) was separated using one of our anion-exchange columns (Thermo Scientific Dionex AG-7 anion exchange guard column). Note that the method used for the separation is described in Application Note 43098, Speciation analysis of Cr (III) and Cr (VI) in drinking waters using anion exchange chromatography coupled to the Thermo Scientific iCAP Q ICP-MS (downloadable PDF).

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More hexavalent chromium analytical solutions can be found on our webpage including seven downloadable application notes for the analysis of Cr (VI) in water, solid waste, dyes, and more.

And as always, do enter any questions you might have on the methods, instruments, or columns in the Comments box below; our experts look forward to hearing from you.