Jewelry being sold in Vermont stores contains alarming levels of toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, nickel and arsenic, according to a study conducted by The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit environmental organization that conducts product testing for hazardous ingredients in items average American families use daily.
Many of the products tested are aimed at children. The chemicals found in the jewelry have been linked to acute allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer. The full report is available at: www.HealthyStuff.org.
Thirty-nine pieces of jewelry studied were collected from Vermont retailers: 13 from Walmart, 3 from Icing, and 23 from Claire’s. Each retailer was selling at least one piece of jewelry that contained high levels of toxins. Three pieces of jewelry sold in Vermont had high levels of lead (greater than 300 ppm), one piece had high levels of cadmium, and other jewelry contained toxins such as nickel, mercury, arsenic and chlorine (PVC).
Nationally, over half (57%) of the products tested had a “high” level of concern due to the presence of one or more hazardous chemicals detected at high levels. Four products contained over 10% cadmium, a known carcinogen. Fifty percent contained lead, with over half of these containing more than 300 ppm of lead in one or more components, exceeding the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) limit of lead in children’s products.