8 Deadly Toxins Found In Your Cheap Jewelry (Video)


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.

From cbsnews.com:

“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 HealthyStuff.org, 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.

From cbs.com:

“There is no excuse for jewelry, especially children’s jewelry, to be made with some of the most well studied and dangerous substances on the planet,” Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, said in a written statement. “We urge manufacturers to start replacing these chemicals with non-toxic substances immediately.”

While metals do not pose a risk by simply wearing the items, if they are consumed they can be deadly, according to Spaeth. Because they are cheaply made, they can easily chip, scratch or break. “When pieces are small enough to fit in (a child’s) mouth, the likelihood of ingestion increases dramatically,” he said.

More importantly, Spaeth said, the brominated flame retardants, which are usually sprayed on, can come off in someone’s hands and be absorbed in the skin or inhaled. This chemical compound has been known to disrupt hormonal balances and may cause a number of other known health effects.

You Don’t Need That Cheap Jewelry!

It turns out that jewelry sold specifically for children is required to meet safety standards, but adult jewelry is not — even though it can still be ingested or rubbed the wrong way by adults or children. Since this report has been released, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking into it. They’re planning to pick up samples of the jewelry and test it themselves.

But you probably shouldn’t wait for the results of their tests. Why not just decide you’d rather not wear toxic chemicals around your neck, and skip the cheap jewelry store entirely?


Related Stories

Toxic Chemicals In U.S. Baby Shampoo, Why?

Toxins in our Hair and on our Faces

Canada Health: BPA’s A Toxin But It’s OK To Have It In Our Food


Photo Credit: screenshot from youtube video

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Gina J.
Gina J.about a year ago

Interesting article. If you dont want to have such problems just buy your jewelry from realiable shop. Like http://www.globalringsjewelry.com/ . Good luck!

Jenifer D.
Jenifer D.3 years ago

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

Sheri P.
Sheri P.3 years ago

good grief! not worth it...

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim3 years ago

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.

Tricia Lyman
Tricia Lyman3 years ago

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.

Diane L.
Diane L.3 years ago

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.

Diane L.
Diane L.3 years ago

Exactly, Xil!

Xil L.
Xil L.3 years ago

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?

Diane L.
Diane L.3 years ago

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.

Nyack Clancy
Nyack Clancy3 years ago

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?