"Researchers from the Ecology Center recently released their findings that out of ninety-nine items of jewelry purchased from stores across the nation, 57% contained harmful chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium. "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," said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, in a press release. "We urge manufacturers to start replacing these chemicals with non-toxic substances immediately."
The larger retailers included H&M, Claire's, Walmart, and Kohl's.
The study's key findings were:
According to the Ecology Center, these substances are linked to acute allergies and may cause birth defects, cognitive impairment, liver toxicity, and cancer.
Contaminated jewelry is particularly dangerous for kids who are more likely to put it in their mouths. According to the CPSC, "Swallowing, sucking on or chewing a metal charm or necklace could result in exposure to lead, cadmium or other heavy metals, which are known to be toxic at certain levels of exposure." The CPSC has set up voluntary standards for the jewelry industry but six states, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, have enacted tighter regulations."