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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dangers in your jewelry?

I just read an AP article that came out this morning about Cadmium being found in jewelry. A less than a month ago there was an article about Cadmium being found in children's jewelry manufactured in China. Now a California environmental group has found high levels of the toxic metal in adult necklaces and bracelets through recent testing. The jewelry was bought at 3 leading retailers: Saks Fifth Avenue, Aeropostale, and Catherines. One necklace was purchased from Saks 5th Avenue for $69.99. One would think that paying that amount for costume jewelry, that it would be a safe product. The pieces were made overseas, in places like China and India. Saks & Catherines have pulled items that were involved in the testing that came back with high levels.

Apparently due to the uproar over the use of lead, cadmium is being substituted. Cadmium is even more dangerous than lead. Cadmium is a known carcinogen, particularly when it is inhaled in a factory or other workplace. Like lead, cadmium can impede brain development and cause learning disabilities in children. It also can cause serious problems with kidneys and bones. The exact risks to adults aren't clear because typically the metal takes long-term exposure to cause the diseases. It has been more of a concern with children because of the risk of sucking or biting on the item containing cadmium. Adults normally wouldn't suck on a piece of jewelry, but by handling the item and then eating they can ingest the poison.

The Center for Environmental Health said it would seek a ban on cadmium in all jewelry. There is currently no limit under federal law on cadmium in jewelry sold in the U.S. "Our legal action sends a strong signal to industry that we will not stand by while they play toxic flavor of the month with jewelry," said Michael Green, the group's executive director. "Cadmium is toxic at any age. There is no excuse for cadmium in any jewelry, and we intend to eliminate this health threat to women and children," he said.

Some of the worst offenders of the toxic children's jewelry were found at Wal-mart, dollar stores, and Claires. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it was pulling three of the contaminated items from store shelves. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has since advised parents to throw away all cheap children's metal jewelry and federal lawmakers have proposed legislation to ban cadmium in children's jewelry. Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of two of the items sold at Wal-mart stores.

I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but now I do wonder about some of the jewelry that I have. Does it have toxic metals? I do think that the focus should be on all jewelry, not just items manufactured specifically for children. Babies & toddlers don't discriminate; they'll suck on anything. Research is essential before buying anything. You really need to find out where an item came from & how it was made.

1 comment:

  1. Always protect your jewellery from sharp blows, scratching, chemicals, sunlight and heat/cold. Ideally, store your jewellery in a soft lined box or pouch. Try to keep pieces apart, so that they don't rub together or tangle up.
    • Wear jewellery for appropriate tasks; avoid wearing rings when cleaning, gardening or performing sports activities.
    • Don't let your jewellery come into contact with nail polish removers, perfume and hairspray
    • Clean your jewellery regularly, use a professional jewellery cleaning product (always read the manufacturer’s instructions)
    • When washing your hands (away from home) - don't place your rings on the wash basin - remove them and place them onto your necklace or place in a pouch in your handbag/purse
    • Never go swimming in your jewellery, chlorine in swimming pools can cause damage