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Old 11-27-2018, 03:04 AM   #1
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Default Query re safety of cheap dies from China

I have finally ordered some dies from China via Amazon but I am worried they could have lead in them. Does anyone know if testing has been done on any of these cheapie dies?

It is really bugging me and I don't know how to ascertain if they are safe or not
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:37 AM   #2
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My daughter was working on restoring an old steamer trunk and was concerned about lead content. She found a lead testing kit online and ordered it. It's worth looking into and not anything to mess with for sure!
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:54 PM   #3
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I really doubt they would use lead in the dies from China or any where else - not because of safety concerns, but because lead is one of the softest metals and it would not stand up to the pressure of a die cutting machine without ruining the die.

Here is a little info on lead: Lead - Wikipedia
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Old 11-29-2018, 10:51 AM   #4
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Lead is sometimes added to steel to improve it's machining qualities, but since dies are etched (a chemical process) rather than physically cut, there's no reason why lead would be a useful additive. It'd just make the die weaker as Skippet correctly pointed out. Leaded paint is always a possibility.

That said I do practice common sense - cleaning any new dies I get especially after filing off any sharp joins, not sticking them in my mouth and washing hands after crafting.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:59 AM   #5
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There is a thread with a title of "is it me or is it getting out of control?" recently where there was discussion of the dangers of products made in China. In particular products that were knock-off products were deemed dangerous.

I was a little concerned at the time and did a little investigating in my craft room. As it turned out about 95% of the products that I had packaging for were labeled Made in China. All of my products were from companies that are considered reputable companies.

I have to admit it has been on my mind a little as to the safety of our crafting supplies. I like your idea of going with common sense and hope that these products are overall safe to use.
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie* View Post
In particular products that were knock-off products were deemed dangerous.

Deemed dangerous by whom? You can't just say something is 'dangerous' without providing context. Technically, almost everything is dangerous. An inch of water can drown you, but that doesn't mean we should start freaking out the second someone opens a tap...
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:56 PM   #7
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I stay away from these no-name chinese products. Altough we all have products made in China, they would have been supplied by an American company, that means if there were ever any safety recalls of those products, then I would most likely hear about them, but with the no-name products we would never hear anything.

Testing for lead is a good idea. But I'd be worried about other chemicals in them as well. I almost ordered some of the dies once. But my brother who works in manufacturing in a German firm (unrelated to this hobby), advised me against it.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:48 AM   #8
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Deemed dangerous by whom? You can't just say something is 'dangerous' without providing context. Technically, almost everything is dangerous. An inch of water can drown you, but that doesn't mean we should start freaking out the second someone opens a tap...

I'm sorry for not being more specific. The context that I was referring to can be found in the thread I mentioned earlier and was information provided by a Canadian card blogger that has mentioned this problem in her YouTube Videos.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:59 AM   #9
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Really???? The thought as never crossed my mind. As long as they cut as they should I'm satisfied.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellibelle View Post
I stay away from these no-name chinese products. Altough we all have products made in China, they would have been supplied by an American company, that means if there were ever any safety recalls of those products, then I would most likely hear about them, but with the no-name products we would never hear anything.

Testing for lead is a good idea. But I'd be worried about other chemicals in them as well. I almost ordered some of the dies once. But my brother who works in manufacturing in a German firm (unrelated to this hobby), advised me against it.

Good grief! I think we all need to get a grip and apply some common sense to the ack-ack-we’re-all-gonna-die theories that get tossed our way on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the latest hysteria about possible harm rather than likely or cetain harm. Most of these claims of damage all go back to the money side of the claim. Foreign makers are stealing designs that are created by US entities. That’s wrong and bad, however, it doesn’t make the product physically unsafe to use.

As others have mentioned, lead is super soft so unlikely to used in the dies. Also as others have mentioned, most of the dies we buy from US companies are made in China. And lastly, metal dies are not intended to ingested, EVER! Metal dies, used as intended, will only cause harm if you cut yourself on an unfiled connector tab or run your finger though the die cutter.

It makes perfect sense to avoid buying unbranded dies if you feel it is morally wrong to do so. It makes no sense to conflate that reasonable argument to one of probable physical harm. Just my 2 cents on the whole curfluffle.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:02 AM   #11
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I think these questions are not about Chicken Little claiming the sky is falling but really more about common sense. For many years people painted their homes with lead paint. When we know better we do better.

If cheap dies or any other product is unsafe to use, touch or handle, (but not eat) it would be nice to know they are made with unsafe products. If there is no toxic ingredient then we can all move on and not give it another thought.
For years I was a painter and used a powder that I had no idea could be harmful. I found out that inhaling the product was found to cause cancer. I didn't go screaming and yelling we are all going to die. I simply stopped using the product and threw it in the trash. I think the OP is simply questioning whether products purchased cheaply are reputable.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie* View Post
I'm sorry for not being more specific. The context that I was referring to can be found in the thread I mentioned earlier and was information provided by a Canadian card blogger that has mentioned this problem in her YouTube Videos.

Link or channel name, please? More information is always welcome!
I did reread most of the thread, but didn't see the blogger you've mentioned. (Probably is there but I'm being blind as usual.)

In case anyone else wants a thread link:
Is it me or is it getting out of control? - Splitcoaststampers
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie* View Post
I think these questions are not about Chicken Little claiming the sky is falling but really more about common sense. For many years people painted their homes with lead paint. When we know better we do better.

If cheap dies or any other product is unsafe to use, touch or handle, (but not eat) it would be nice to know they are made with unsafe products. If there is no toxic ingredient then we can all move on and not give it another thought.
For years I was a painter and used a powder that I had no idea could be harmful. I found out that inhaling the product was found to cause cancer. I didn't go screaming and yelling we are all going to die. I simply stopped using the product and threw it in the trash. I think the OP is simply questioning whether products purchased cheaply are reputable.
I think you are referring to my comment. Obviously it is each persons individual choice of wether they want to use a product or not. I simply stated "I" would not be using them and my reason why. This is after all discussion board and we're here to discuss things. At the end of the day it's a personal decision
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellibelle View Post
I think you are referring to my comment. Obviously it is each persons individual choice of wether they want to use a product or not. I simply stated "I" would not be using them and my reason why. This is after all discussion board and we're here to discuss things. At the end of the day it's a personal decision

No, I was not responding to you. Please refer to your personal messages.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:09 AM   #15
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I'm sorry, Annie.


Yes, I admit, I may be a bit overthinking things, I've always been that way and don't think I will change. It's my personality

Anyone remember when children's jewelry was recalled due to cadmium found in the jewelry? You can bet I made sure to throw out all the jewelry my daughter had, possibly affected by that recall.

I know the original poster asked specifically about lead contamination, but there is no reason not to mention other chemicals that *could* affect our health. And not sure about anyone else, but I don't usually wash my hand after using the die cutting machine.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:56 PM   #16
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Just some thoughts beyond safety about the extraordinarily cheap dies on Amazon.

Artists and manufacturers have had many designs stolen and reproduced in China, then sold here for pennies. It’s a never ending battle for these companies to get those stores removed on Amazon, fighting Alibaba, etc. Amazon removes shops but they pop up under different names. Birch Press, for example, has two people just tracking their stolen designs.

Aside from theft, working and housing conditions for factory workers in China are horrific. Cheap prices are partly because they’re being paid next to nothing.

They also steal photos from well known bloggers showing card examples, so they also have to fight to have them removed. Some posts, maybe planted, state that some companies manufacture their dies in China, which isn’t true - and is part of the reason the cost is higher. Steel prices have also gone up.

Some manufacturers sell to many retail shops and when the Chinese knock-offs are widely sold, the LSS’s suffer too, and can - and do - go out of business. Some small stamp and die companies have gone out of business and will continue to too.

I had a long phone conversation with a die company’s designer. This breaks my heart. Congress, state attorneys general and the USPS have not helped.

As for safety, handling certain items can be dangerous - lead, for example. I’m not saying these dies contain lead, but China does not have a good safety record and is supporting theft of our artists and companies.

Just my take - YMMV.

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Old 12-05-2018, 06:10 PM   #17
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Plenty of the 'big names' like Stampin' Up and Spellbinders have their products Made in China, it says so right on the back of their packaging. Go look at your own stash if you don't believe me.

Boycotting everything Chinese made isn't logical or practical. Economic development is how things get better for the workers / general populace. It's happened time and time again, and it's happening in China too. Factories no longer have the huge influx of unskilled agricultural labour to draw on, so they have to offer higher wages to attract employees. Developed countries don't spring up overnight. With higher wages comes better standards of living, and increased awareness.
The solution to stolen art is to sell directly to the die manufacturers, and skip the 'middle man' companies. Plenty of artists already do this; they sell EPS / vector files and Chinese manufacturers make stencils, dies and other products with them.

Local stores either have to adapt to a changing market or rightfully fail. Every business needs to do this; staying relevant is the foundation of retail.

Foreign countries are under no obligation to honour another countries laws, including copyright. That's the reality of living in a global economy; your neighbours may not share your laws or views. Canada observes US patent/copyright law as a nicety, but we certainly aren't required to do so.


Lead is only harmful if ingested or inhaled. You cannot absorb normal lead just by touching it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:56 PM   #18
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I never suggested a boycott, Embri. And I know where my products come from. Some companies manufacture in the U.S. I have a small number of items from SU and a couple from Spellbinders - but they are not stolen designs.

Being legitimately manufactured in China is one thing. The working/living conditions will bother some and not others. But theft from the artists and companies that crafters admire and follow? That’s a different ballgame. Purchasing extremely cheap copies would feel like buying stolen goods - to me. But everyone has their own ethical barometer and would not feel the same.

As for copyrights being honored by different countries, international acknowledgement and protections exist between some countries through treaties, though enforcement can be crazily difficult.

BTW, I have no idea what copied dies are made from. They could be completely safe. Handling lead and then putting fingers in one’s mouth can cause lead poisoning so it’s more a concern for little children. I used to give inexpensive lead testing kits to clients who were concerned about decades old paint in their homes. They’re cheap and available at home supply stores, Amazon, etc. (Maybe they’re made in China. )

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Old 12-05-2018, 08:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
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JSome posts, maybe planted, state that some companies manufacture their dies in China, which isn’t true - and is part of the reason the cost is higher. Steel prices have also gone up.

I'd be curious to see these 'maybe planted' posts, where could I read them? I must be misinterpreting your meaning, because at least from the offerings we get almost all dies are Made in China that you see in Canadian retail outlets. So saying that that's where they come from isn't untrue, at least up here.

Did you mean there companies who say they manufacture in the USA but have people claiming they aren't?
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