A lot of people love to wear jewelry and accessories to spruce up an outfit, but some of the chemicals and metals used to make inexpensive costume jewelry could be dangerous to your health.
Before you ‘bling up' for a big occasion, think twice about the dangerous chemicals you could be putting on your body.
Researchers tested costume jewelry from 14 retailers in Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Vermont.
All of the items were purchased for less than $10, and most were targeted to children.
They found high levels of lead, cadmium, and arsenic -- elements the US Consumer Product Safety Commission considers hazardous to human health.
If a child sucks or bites some of these costume jewelry products, over time, they could be exposed to these toxins.
Art Teacher Tanya Eddy makes sure students in her class aren't using potentially toxic 'bling' to make their art projects.
"I try to make sure there's not anything with lead in it, that was always a worry," Eddy said.
We purchased several pieces of costume jewelry and had them tested by scientists at Arkansas State University.
"We were specifically looking for cadmium, lead and arsenic," said Dr. Robert Engelken, a professor of electrical engineering at ASU.
Using high-tech equipment, scientists at ASU were able to determine which metals were used to make the costume jewelry.
"This allows you to see three-dimensional aspects of whatever you're looking at," Engelken said about the equipment in his lab. "In one sample, we had one very small concentration of lead, and in two samples we had an extremely small concentration of arsenic."
Many of the samples had high amounts of copper, carbon and oxygen.
Based on our unofficial tests, Engelken said there was no need to panic.
"My personal opinion is that what we saw would mean that the jewelry would be perfectly safe for wearing in a normal sense, but parents might still want to be cautious in making sure that young children did not put these in their mouths," Engelken advises.
So, here's what you can do to prevent any toxins from getting into you or your child's body:
Exposing your child to lead can cause them to have a lower IQ and learning disabilities. Cadmium can cause harm to the kidneys and lungs.
According to Healthystuff.org, citizen pressure is the key to making the government and manufacturers bring safer products to market.
The following are the Jewelry Screening Findings from HealthyStuff.org:
What Chemicals Did We Test for?
(*Note: Not all products were tested for all chemicals. Four products were only tested for lead and cadmium.)
Products with crystal components
NOTE: HealthyStuff.org is an initial screening of chemicals in products for a handful of hazardous chemicals. There are a number of chemicals of concern that the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) device and HealthyStuff.org cannot detect. For example, there has been much concern recently about bisphenol A, a component of polycarbonate plastic. The XRF device is not able to detect bisphenol A, nor can it identify polycarbonate. In addition, the XRF device cannot detect phthalates, a family of chemicals of concern, although we have used the presence of PVC plastic as a surrogate for the likely presence of phthalates.
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