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QUESTION: What is the chance of lead being in my computer mouse that I click thousands of times? - 16 Aug 2007 Arizona, USA

Dear Friends,

I am educating myself on lead. I like your web site!

What is the chance of lead being in my computer mouse that I click thousands of times?

Thank You,

Ron in Arizona, USA

ANSWER: 05 Jun 2009

Dear Ron,

My sincere apologies for the long delay in replying to your email. At the time you wrote we did not have enough volunteers to answer all the inquiries we receive.

I have not specifically heard of there being lead in computer mice, but the world of commerce is full of surprises so I'm completely open to the idea. The more important question however, is, how could you be harmed by it, if there is lead in your computer mouse?

Certainly if you are one of those rare individuals who eat metal objects as a performance art, and if some component inside a mouse is actually made of lead metal, ingesting that lead component (the ball perhaps?) could provide sufficient lead to kill you.

But even if you licked or sucked on your mouse and if there is lead in the plastic (I'm not saying there is), you may not attain an unacceptable blood lead level if the plastic is new and has not been exposed to the sun such that the plastic destabilises.

The best way, as always, to answer any concern along the lines of: could x product be contributing to my blood lead level? is to ask the doctor to test your blood lead level. If your result is below 2 micrograms per decilitre, you can be pretty confident that none or virtually none of the lead in the computer mouse (if there is any) is actually getting into you and being absorbed.

I will also send you our Info Pack on the reasons why you should act if your blood lead level is above 2 micrograms per decilitre (2 g/dL ), just in case you actually have been exposed to any of the hundreds of lead sources that are more likely to cause problems than computer mice.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth OBrien

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