As soon as I got back from testing my supplies with the XRF gun, I pulled the non-compliant buttons out of my inventory, and sighed at the uncertainty that now faces me everytime I try to get a new style.
Believe it or not, these are the styles that didn't make it. Some of these are vintage, so it is somewhat more understandable, but most are new. Here are the style numbers that failed the test for 300 ppm for others of you who want to avoid lead in buttons.
JHB Lagoon-all colors
JHB Fantasy pink #39956
JHB Red Dorothea #32650
JHB Monet #12529 (only failed for 300ppm, not 600ppm)
JHB Marseille #35040 (orange color only)
The others are La Mode, and unfortunately I don't have the style numbers. The pink 2-hole fish-eye was a real surprise, as was the rosy 4-hole button.
From now on, I will have every single new button I order tested before I design anything specific. But I definitely got a better sense of what to watch out for (shimmer/metallic effect) when choosing new styles. Hope this helps everyone else before a costly mistake is made.
By the way, if you are wondering what I'm going to do with all those buttons? Most I will use on my daughter's own clothing. My rationale is that there are two pathways to lead exposure: inhalation and ingestion. Luckily I'm not sanding down the buttons so they might produce lead dust, and my daughter is old enough to know not to eat her clothing. That being said, I do not in any way mean to minimize the dangers of this noxious metal, and I will be talking to my button distributors to see what they can do to help me avoid ordering problematic buttons in the first place.