Joe Digangi, a U.S. based advisor with IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network), announced that children’s toys randomly tested in the markets and shops in Yerevan were found to contain 250 times the acceptabe safe levels of mercury.
The study is part of an overall IPEN project that the organization tested in six countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia in December 2012.
The study measured the toxic metals in 569 children's products bought at random on the markets and shops of Yerevan (Armenia), Minsk (Belarus), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan); Aprelevka, Kolomna, Moscow, Sochi and Volgograd (Russia ), Kiev (Ukraine). The relevant test measurements were performed using a portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer (XRF), focused on the definition of lead, mercury, arsenic, and antimony, although the content and other toxic metals - cadmium and chromium. The data allowed identifying a significant group of products that contain lead, mercury, arsenic, and antimony concentrations in excess "levels of concern" for them.
Overall, the IPEN study revealed that approximately 27% of the products contained at least one of these toxic metals and 13% contained more than two, increasing the potential for harm.