Mall Jewelry May be Hazardous to Your HealthTesting Reveals Elevated Levels of Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic in Widely Sold Jewelry Products 

HealthyStuff.org, a project of The Ecology Center, recently conducted a test of several pieces of fashion jewelry found in corporate chain stores. They tested 99 pieces of jewelry found in 14 different retail stores throughout 6 different states (Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Vermont). The stores included in the test were Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Big Lots, Claire's, Forever 21, Kohls, Walmart, H&M, Hot Topic, and others. Most of the pieces that they tested were for sale for less than $10.

Among the most noteworthy results:

  • 59% of products tested were rated as having HIGH level of concern due the presence of one or more hazardous chemical detected at high levels
  • 49% had detectable levels lead
  • 47% had detectable levels of cadmium
  • 13% had of jewelry contained greater than 100 ppm arsenic
  • 27% of the sample had greater levels of lead than the maximum limit for children's jewelry set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission
The study states that not all of the products were tested for all of the chemicals, and that their testing methods are not capable of, nor designed to, test for all chemicals, such as BPA for example. You can find the complete results of the test here.

The study also tested select items for total digestion, whereby the product was treated with nitric acid, and the total metals were determined by atomic absorbotion (AA). Some of the results from those tests appear in the infographics below:

(note that the product states it is lead free)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The study states that not all of the products were tested for all of the chemicals, and that their testing methods are not capable of, nor designed to, test for all chemicals, such as BPA for example. You can find the complete results of the test here.

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