START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
1,449,930 people care about Health Policy

8 Deadly Toxins Found In Your Cheap Jewelry (Video)

8 Deadly Toxins Found In Your Cheap Jewelry (Video)
  • 1 of 2


You know that really cheap jewelry that you can buy at Claire’s, Target and Forever 21? Well, there is no free lunch. You may only have to pay a few dollars for those earrings and necklaces, but that cheap price comes at the cost of you or your children’s health.

The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based non-profit organization that advocates for a safe and healthy environment, recently conducted tests and discovered that despite strict regulations, many pieces of costume jewelry contain high levels of unsafe chemicals.


“None of these things are things you want to have your child exposed to,” Dr. Kenneth R. Spaeth,director of the occupational and environmental medicine center at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., who was not involved in the study, told HealthPop. “All of these are harmful. Some of them are known to be carcinogens. Many of these are known to be neurotoxic, meaning they can affect brain development.”

99 Jewelry Pieces From 14 Different Retailers

For the Center’s test, posted on, 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. (You can view the results of their tests in the video below.)

Using a 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.

More Than Half The Pieces Had High Levels Of These 8 Toxins

Shockingly, the researchers found that more than half of the products, all of which cost less than ten dollars, had high levels of these eight hazardous chemicals. 27 of the products had greater than 300 ppm lead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)’s lead limit in children’s products. 90 percent of the pieces had chromium and nickel, which often cause allergic reactions and ten percent had cadmium, a toxic metal that has been the basis for several jewelry and toy recalls according to CBS News.

Some of the most toxic pieces they found included “Claire’s Gold 8 Bracelet Set, Walmart’s Silver Star Bracelet, Target’s Silver Charm Necklace, and Forever 21′s Long Pearl Flower Necklace.” Check our your jewelry box to make sure it doesn’t contain one of those!

Especially Dangerous For Children

These findings are scary enough for adults, but the bigger danger is that a child might somehow eat a broken piece of it or bite something that you’re wearing.

  • 1 of 2

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo Credit: screenshot from youtube video

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
10:25PM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Many peoples are looking for right ways about How to buy low cost jewellery

11:26PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

good grief! not worth it...

11:54AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Targeting and tricking the younger consumers is very easy. I'm not surprised they have so many of those cheap toxic metals in them. Thanks for the article.

7:55AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

I've long suspected that there was lead present in a lot of the fashion jewelry that is out there. I have developed a fast, simple, easy test for lead that anyone can do in the store. All you need is a piece of white paper that slightly rough like notebook paper or printer paper. Slick paper like you get in a receipt won't do the trick. Take the jewelry, or metal item period and see if you can mark the paper. Any mark at all means that there is a problem, usually lead. Sterling silver and gold, brass and tin won't leave a mark. Nordstrom's, Macy's, Sax, is/are usually fine, and so is Sears. World market is dreadful, ditto Wal-mart, Target, Micheals Crafts (Bigtime) most boutiques like Forever 21 (labor practices aside)

Try this protect your families and selves, spread the word!!!! Better yet, support the arts community, and buy things at your local arts fairs/festivals. I have never once found that Art Fair/Festival jewelry was bad.

6:12AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Xil, I even feel guilty now about wearing any old jewelry I have that IS real gold and precious (not lab created) stones when I don't know the source of the real ones. How many died in mining the real ones? Yes, I have both.......some nice REAL pieces and some cheap junk. I don't eat any of them, and yes, the cheap stuff will leave a mark on my skin if I wear it too long, but then that's the point.........I DON'T wear it "too long". I have one 10K gold ring that I haven't taken off in 15 years (it's too tight) and no marks.....just a slight callous behind the back of my finger. Obviously, plated or junk wouldn't have been "as kind", but that's not the point. Junk jewelry is not meant to be worn for days, weeks, years.

5:22AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Exactly, Xil!

4:59AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Better with cheap jewelry than ivory, wood, blood diamonds and landgrabs for corrupt mining industrials, we cant collaps the whole economic motor now, can we?

12:44AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

PLEASE don't start yet another attempt to "engage" me, Nyack. I don't care to play your game. Falling down has nothing to do with wearing cheap jewelry and you know it. If you want to address me in a logical comment on THIS TOPIC, I'll be happy to have a conversation/discussion with you, but otherwise, find an appropriate place to just have a fight. I'm not interested.

12:42AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Is THAT right? I suppose that is exactly why toddlers sometimes fall down, and even whack their heads and have other accidents... improper parental supervision?

12:39AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Yes, Nyack, I noticed those things, but if one is a good parent, a responsible parent and an observant one, they don't leave objects such as this around for their toddlers to handle. My jewelry stays in a jewelry box or in a suitable container on my dresser. Somehow, I managed to raise two todderls to adulthood and neither one of them was poisoned by EATING my cheap jewelry, nor did I turn green and glow in the dark from wearing any. More kids have issues from sucking on their parents car keys or a remote to the TV or parts of cell phones, yet parents leave the access to those things around within reach all the time.

Read the article, even the writer admits that the risk of absorbing ANYTHING thru the skin is minimal. Yes, cheap junk will discolor the skin, cause a rash sometimes or if in pierced earrings, MAY cause irritation. If that happens, don't wear it. How simple is that? For those who CAN afford 18K or better, good for you. NOt all of us can, and actually many of us don't have to and have no problems with lesser quality.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Who in the hell thought such animal abuse was acceptable?! And how many decades ago was that done? … The…

ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.