Can your costume jewelry kill you? Probably not, but it can kill your children and certainly make both children and adults very sick! The non-profit environmental safety organization, The Ecology Center, bought 99 items of costume jewelry from places like teen favorite Claire’s, Target, Forever 21 and more. Over half of the items were found to have toxic chemicals! Deadly arsenic, lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury and other ‘highly toxic chemicals’. It’s shocking to find that these stores that families trust to keep them safe are disregarding something so dangerous.
Even more shocking was that several items labeled ‘lead free’ were made almost entirely of lead! Others labeled ‘lead free’ had very high levels of the carcinogenic, cadmium. How did this happen? Conspiracy theories often suggest that China, where these items are typically manufactured, is purposely using these metals in an effort to hurt American consumers. A story back in January, where the AP held a study of children’s jewelry from Claire’s, Walmart and other stores and found that after China was told not to use lead anymore, they simply used something just as dangerous, if not worse, cadmium. How can consumers know what is safe anymore? It is scary when so many items coming out of China, from jewelry to baby formula, have been affected at some point.
Professor of Chemistry at Ashland University (Ohio), Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, said it was “appalling” to find cadmium at those levels in products. He added, “There’s recent research indicating that it can cause learning disabilities and permanent loss of I.Q.” Other health issues that can be caused by these chemicals are acute allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity and cancer. America is already desperately searching for answers about the sudden increase in learning disabilities, including autism, that have reached critical numbers. There has to be mass testing of items, especially for children, coming into this country. In the meantime, staying away from items, like costume jewelry, made out of the country or with metals might just be the best bet.
Â© Margie Wilson-Mars 2012