What are heavy metals?

BLC are specialists in Heavy Metals Testing and Analysis. 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. Heavy metals are commonly used in industrial applications such as in the manufacture of pesticides, batteries, alloys, electroplated metal parts, textile dyes, steel, and so forth.

The risks

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.

Heavy metal toxicity can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels, and damage to blood composition, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. Long-term exposure may result in slowly progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that mimic Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. Allergies are not uncommon and repeated long-term contact with some metals or their compounds may even cause cancer.

Why you need to conduct heavy metals testing and analysis.

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 attempt 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. EN71, a European standard governing the safety of toys where Part 3 of the regulations covers the migration of elements, 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.

Why choose BLC to conduct your heavy metals testing and analysis?

  • One of the fastest testing laboratories in Europe
  • Experts in chemical testing and compliance – over 90 years experience
  • Technical support and guidance if and when failures occur
  • Solutions to cleanse and reduce toxic chemicals from your supply chain
  • Expert advice and solutions on legislation and supply chain compliance
  • Access to chemical supply chain specifications