Thursday, March 15, 2012

Much of Costume Jewelry Contains Unsafe Chemicals

A new study has found that many pieces of costume jewelry have high levels of unsafe chemicals including lead, chromium and nickel. Some of them are carcinogens. Many of these are neurotoxic, meaning they can affect brain development.

Researchers took samples of ninety-nine different children's and adult jewelry pieces from 14 different retailers from stores such as Ming 99 City, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Big Lots, Claire's, Glitter, Forever 21, Walmart, H&M, Meijers, Kohl's, Justice, Icing and Hot Topic. Using an tool called an X-ray fluorescence analyzer, they checked for lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, mercury and arsenic. Samples were collected from Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Vermont.

The researchers found that over half of the products had high levels of hazardous chemicals. Chromium and nickel, which often cause allergic reactions, were found in over 90 percent of items. Cadmium, a toxic metal that has been the basis for several jewelry and toy recalls according to CBS News, was found in 10 percent of the samples.

See the CBS summary here