Our balloon kit is nearly together but one thing has been vexing me-- trying to find a lead-free snap swivel. I like coast lock snap swivels, like the ones sold at kitebuilder.com where I got my first coast lock snap swivel. I tracked back this swivel to the Sampo company, manufacturer of Rosco swivels. Through talking to wholesale suppliers I was referred to call Sampo, where I had a great conversation with Brian Butts, the owner. Brian explained that his swivels, while some use brass bearings and some stainless ball bearings, all contain 360 brass, which is 3% lead. This is pretty much same amount of lead found in many keys, and is RoHS compliant (<4%). Brian tests himself for lead and has never had elevated levels. And for machining reasons there are very good reasons to include a little lead..
Thanks to a suggestion by Liz Barry, I found some all-stainless hardware, the American Fishing Wire Mighty Mini Snap Swivels.. And they're cheaper, stronger, and because steel is more fatigue resistant, very likely more durable. Attached is the MSDS I got from Stephanie Farnum at AFW.
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