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 Post subject: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #1 Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:35 pm 
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I bought "Yunzi Stones" from Yellow Mountain Imports as a gift for my young children, so we can play baduk together. Later on after ordering, I saw online that this kind of stone can contain lead.

So when my order arrived I got a lead test kit from the local hardware store to check them for safety. It turns out that the stones sent to me did contain lead. This is unsafe for my children to use and maybe me too. It's not responsible for Yellow Mountain to be selling these stones to people. The page on their website doesn't say anything about lead even though I read that they already had this problem for many years http://chiyodad.blogspot.com/2008/01/le ... tones.html

Why do they keep selling them if they can't guarantee their safety for children? I think it's very unreasonable and possibly even illegal in the US.

I wanted to write my experience here to warn people that if you've also bought these stones from Yellow Mountain that they're not safe, especially for children. Also to advise people not to deal with this company because they're untrustworthy.

I'm very disappointed and unhappy with this experience and won't be doing business with Yellow Mountain again. Can anyone please recommend a better store where I can order some replacement stones that aren't polluted?

J Lee

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #2 Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:21 pm 
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This was a problem several years ago, but by all accounts I have heard, their sourcing and the formulation used to make the stones was changed a few years back and this has not been a problem with yunzi stones manufactured since then. When were your stones purchased?


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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #3 Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:22 pm 
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how long ago was this purchase?


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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #4 Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:11 pm 
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I purchased late last year. I read on other pages that Yellow Mountain and other people said the problem was fixed, but it wasn't true in my case. That's why I thought I should warn people not to be tricked like I was and to test their stones too. If you have Yunzi Stones you should check them. The lead test is not too expensive and easy to find.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #5 Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:31 pm 
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How is the lead dangerous?

EDIT: nevermind. I looked it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #6 Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Very disappointing news! Did you inform YMI of the results of the test and ask for a refund? If so, what was their reply?

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #7 Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:41 am 
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Legality would depend on how much lead is present, below a certain level is harmless to us. Lead could be present but not be a danger to children (though as a parent I understand not wanting even this). As for guaranteed lead free? Try Korean Glass Stones, they're a bit cheaper than Japanese ones but look very nice and are absolutely lead free. There's also plastic Ing stones, though personally I prefer glass.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #8 Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:36 pm 
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ez4u, I emailed a few weeks ago but they haven't replied yet. Actually I'm more concerned to warn people about this problem and recommend that people who have bought Yunzi should test them too. The test is easy to do and not expensive. It should be better than finding out that you or your family has got a health problem from the Yunzi many years later.

The stones weren't that expensive so I'm thinking now about just throwing them away in case the children try to play with them.

skydyr, do you have Yunzi too? Did you also test them and was it ok?

boidhre, thank you for your advices. Actually I prefer to have Korean stones but I didn't find a shop for them. American stores are only having Chinese stones I think? I maybe order some from Korea and pay for the overseas mail.

I'm not certain about the amount of lead in the stones or the exact law. That's why I said possibly illegal. The test that I used is a simple one and only tells whether there's lead or not lead. It said there was lead.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #9 Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:59 pm 
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jlee wrote:
Actually I prefer to have Korean stones but I didn't find a shop for them.

http://shop.gogameguru.com/glass-go-stones-36-biconvex/

This store has stock within the US so shipping should be cheaper than from overseas.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #10 Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Also look for the slightly more economical but very similar Korean Glass stones: Jangstone No. 1 (available from YMI, if you decide to give them another chance).

The report the OP links to seems to contain a very decent reaction by YMI.

Perhaps they should be notified again about the OP's results so they can investigate and given a chance to take corrective action? Since the results so far are binary (either "true" or "false") and don't indicate an actual level, perhaps it would be prudent to issue a caution (as OP has done), yet reserve final judgement until more detailed information can be gathered.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #11 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Greetings from Yellow Mountain Imports,

Thanks for reaching out to us, we really appreciate everyone's concerns. We thought we had resolved this many years back when we had gone through all the reformulation and subsequent tests with the Yunnan Weiqi factory so obviously we were concerned. We take product safety seriously so when we heard these new complaints, we contacted the Yunnan Weiqi Factory immediately. They were equally concerned and arranged for a current official radio spectrometry test. The black stones tested positive at 0.005% (50 parts per million). Lead was also found in the white stones, at an even lower concentration, less than 0.002 (20 ppm). The Yunnan Weiqi Factory reformulated Yunzi stones to be within safe levels as per our request many years ago, while maintaining as much as the original qualities as possible, however they cannot eliminate it completely. Lead makes the stones more durable and less brittle. These levels are well below the 0.009 (90 ppm) level recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, but we do not claim that they are lead-free. Anyone who has purchased Yunzi stones and wants to return them can do so and should contact us.” Email customerservice@ymimports.com with any questions or concerns.

For everyone's reference, please see attached for the most current lead test report. Note, the report is in Chinese however you can see the Pb ppm levels on the last page.

Sincerely,
YMI


Attachments:
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uploadfromtaptalk1392404689432.jpg [ 35.27 KiB | Viewed 1331 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #12 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Wow, thanks jlee for bringing this up. I myself recently received YMI Yunzi stones as a gift.

I'm also happy to see such a prompt official response.

Luckily for me, I don't make a habit of licking go stones, and lead exposure through skin contact is fairly safe.

As always, wash your hands before meals, I suppose.

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Post #13 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:28 pm 
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YMI replaced my yunzi stones without any resistance at all. They're nice people.


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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #14 Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:16 am 
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ymimports wrote:
Greetings from Yellow Mountain Imports,

Thanks for reaching out to us, we really appreciate everyone's concerns. We thought we had resolved this many years back when we had gone through all the reformulation and subsequent tests with the Yunnan Weiqi factory so obviously we were concerned. We take product safety seriously so when we heard these new complaints, we contacted the Yunnan Weiqi Factory immediately. They were equally concerned and arranged for a current official radio spectrometry test. The black stones tested positive at 0.005% (50 parts per million). Lead was also found in the white stones, at an even lower concentration, less than 0.002 (20 ppm). The Yunnan Weiqi Factory reformulated Yunzi stones to be within safe levels as per our request many years ago, while maintaining as much as the original qualities as possible, however they cannot eliminate it completely. Lead makes the stones more durable and less brittle. These levels are well below the 0.009 (90 ppm) level recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, but we do not claim that they are lead-free. Anyone who has purchased Yunzi stones and wants to return them can do so and should contact us.” Email customerservice@ymimports.com with any questions or concerns.

For everyone's reference, please see attached for the most current lead test report. Note, the report is in Chinese however you can see the Pb ppm levels on the last page.

Sincerely,
YMI


I think its seriously necessary to get these tested at a 3rd party lab. The factory can print whatever they want.

I'm skeptical because home test kits generally don't detect lead unless its above 2000 ppm, and yet you are claiming less than 90 ppm?


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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #15 Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:30 pm 
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For whatever it's worth, I ran out and got a home lead testing kit for my Yunzi stones given to me for Christmas 2012, and it came back negative (that is: no lead detected).

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #16 Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:21 pm 
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Hi all,

I know this thread is a bit old, but I thought you all might be interested in an update. I received a set of yunzi stones as a gift at the end of 2013, and, upon reading this, tested mine with an at-home lead check from 3M. The results were inconclusive, so I sent the one broken stone included in my set to Schneider Laboratories Global (http://www.slabinc.com/) to have it tested professionally.

I recently received the results in the mail, and I thought I'd share with community. Here's a link to a photo of the results: http://i.imgur.com/0azOoi7.png

In short, SLG found only 3 ppm of lead in the stone I sent. This is far below the 90 ppm limit set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

This doesn't prove that all yunzi stones are safe (or even necessarily that all of mine are), but it certainly supports YMI's claims.


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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #17 Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Thank you for this information. If you don't mind me asking what color was the stone you had tested? If you read Chiyo Dad's website it sounds like lead was only a problem with the white stones.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #18 Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:40 pm 
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TKP wrote:
Thank you for this information. If you don't mind me asking what color was the stone you had tested? If you read Chiyo Dad's website it sounds like lead was only a problem with the white stones.


You're quite welcome. As it happens, I tested a white stone.

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #19 Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:02 am 
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Hi,


Lead was supposedly abandonned a decade ago, thanks to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restriction_of_Hazardous_Substances_Directive (RoHs) european directive. As an ex-electronics worker, afaik, there is nothing proven about it being so "unhealthy" except of course, if you eat your stones.
It's just the same as with painting. If you let your kids eat pieces of your walls containing "pieces of lead", of course they might be sick. And I say "might" because even that is still under debate.
The RoHS directive was more an environment directive than a health directive. Health was used as a pretext to validate this law (until further proof that it had consequent impact on health). I'd like to add, any ingestion of product, in great quantity possibly has an impact on health, be it stain, copper or anything else.

I don't think you should worry about it, generations of people relied on lead-based painting for their walls, and truly, I'm still waiting for scientific proofs to corroborate any fact between sick people and the fact lead was used.

Pericles

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 Post subject: Re: Warning, Yunzi Stones Are Dangerous To Health
Post #20 Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:30 am 
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Pericles wrote:
Hi,


Lead was supposedly abandonned a decade ago, thanks to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restriction_of_Hazardous_Substances_Directive (RoHs) european directive. As an ex-electronics worker, afaik, there is nothing proven about it being so "unhealthy" except of course, if you eat your stones.
It's just the same as with painting. If you let your kids eat pieces of your walls containing "pieces of lead", of course they might be sick. And I say "might" because even that is still under debate.
The RoHS directive was more an environment directive than a health directive. Health was used as a pretext to validate this law (until further proof that it had consequent impact on health). I'd like to add, any ingestion of product, in great quantity possibly has an impact on health, be it stain, copper or anything else.

I don't think you should worry about it, generations of people relied on lead-based painting for their walls, and truly, I'm still waiting for scientific proofs to corroborate any fact between sick people and the fact lead was used.

Pericles


The RoHs seems to be binding only for the EU. The Asia-Pacific section (with the "China-RoHs), states that China works differently and this only applies for electronic equipment... Which Yunzi stones are not.

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