I got just now my Nikon remote.

I spent about 20£ on it over the cheaper Chinese ripoffs only to find in the instruction manual (not really a "manual"; it's a leaflet) that according to State of California law, they warn customers that touching the cord on the remote exposes them to lead, that can cause birth defects, and other harm.

Actually, this only appears on the English version; the Portuguese, Italian, and apparently all others don't even mention it.

Two part question:

  1. is the threat true? or in the lines of "don't eat the cd-rom, it may cause choking"?
  2. if the remote cord has lead, what about the battery case, the rubber on the grip or whatever else? i am slightly freaking out.

I really like my Nikon DSLR, but I'd prefer that it didn't cause me cancer.

  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ If it makes you feel better, there's not strong evidence of lead as a carcinogen, so you're probably clear for cancer. It's just the neurotoxicity to worry about. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 20:39
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In seriousness, if you're concerned, doesn't hurt anything but the pocketbook to check. And if you've got kids who might handle the thing or, in fact, eat it, it might be worth doing. leadcheck.com/products/leadcheck-products/leadcheck-swabs \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 20:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ It really boils down to "don't eat the solder", and you'd have to suck all of the solder out of a case of the things as an adult before you run into problems. Show a bit of common sense, don't let the baby play with it, and stop worrying. (First they took away my lawn darts, then my chemistry set, then my Radio Shack electronics experiments kit... I really don't need to be protected from everything!) \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 21:07
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If you believe the California warnings, Disneyland causes cancer: flickr.com/photos/ahockley/3327806270 \$\endgroup\$
    – ahockley
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 21:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just be careful not to use it in California, and you will be OK. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 23:26

2 Answers 2


This warning is almost certainly related to California Proposition 65.

This state law says that a manufacturer is required to clearly label any product that might contain one of the chemicals that is on the list provided by the state.

This may mean that there is a high level of lead, but it might also just mean that they haven't taken the effort to find out what the level is, and are covering themselves just in case.

In the end it's your choice whether or not to use the product, they are simply informing you of a possible risk as required by California law.

My Opinion (but it's just an opinion, and you shouldn't do anything just because I would):

I wouldn't worry too much, there is probably some lead in the wire or other internal parts, but as long as you don't suck on it you're probably going to be just fine.


For what it's worth, here in the Bay Area, almost every building has the California Proposition 65 placards installed, including the food stores.

  • \$\begingroup\$ wow, really? it makes it sort of meaningless, like this. :| i gotta dwelve into this a little bit more. thanks :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 9:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In many instances, yes, it's meaningless. In your case, it is providing you with helpful information: the device contains lead. It's now your job to learn how much lead is in there, how lead affects you and at what level. The old saw, "The dose makes the poison" applies here. In short, don't let the kids chew on it and move on. \$\endgroup\$
    – JS.
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 23:44

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