The information presented here is, to the best of our knowledge, the current level or concentration of lead permitted in some selected products. Unless specified otherwise, it is assumed that EU regulations still apply in the UK after Brexit.
If you are aware of any other, or newer information, please let us know.
Blood Lead Concentration
Children ≥10μg/dL (≥0.48μmol/L) being reduced to ≥5μg/dL (≥0.24μmol/L) in 2021
Adults ≥10μg/dL (≥0.48μmol/L)
Lead carbonate and lead sulphate are prohibited from use in paint. No levels are specified – The Environmental Protection (Controls on Injurious Substances) Regulations 1992, The Controls on Dangerous Substances and Preparations Regulations 2006.
10 µgPb/l at consumer taps – Drinking Water Inspectorate
A DEFRA 2014 report quantified land that has a significant possibility of significant harm and defined the following screening levels for lead in mg/kg. These are ‘Category 4 Screening Levels’ (C4SLs) for when land is suitable for use and definitely not contaminated land.
The legislative driver for dealing with historical land affected by
contamination is Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Residential (with homegrown produce)
Residential (without homegrown produce)
Public Open Space with soil tracked to housing
Public Open Space without soil tracked to housing
It should be noted that the normal background concentration of lead in England in urban areas is 820 mg/kg.
≤ 0.05% lead. Crystal glass is exempted- EU Regulation No 836/2012
The regulations are derived from EU Council Directive (84/500/EEC) and apply to the amount of lead that can migrate from different kinds of articles using specific test methods. The Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (See Part 2)
Dishes, bowls, cups *
Cookware, storage > 3L *
* The legislation defines these types of articles precisely. These are approximations.
Food Contact Materials
Materials which come into contact with food must not transfer their constituents to food in quantities which endanger human health. However, the quantities do not seem to be specified – EU regulation No 1935/2004.
The amount of lead that is permitted to migrate from a toy depends on the material. The migration test is specified in EN 71-3: 2013 + A3: 2018 and replicates immersion in stomach acid.
Dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable
Liquid or sticky