High Lead Content in Cheap Jewelry

Professor Warns of High Lead Content in Jewelry: A professor of chemistry at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, is warning retailers and consumers that many inexpensive jewelry items such as charm bracelets, key chains and necklaces have the potential for high lead content. Recent research completed by Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, professor of chemistry, and Mike Clement, laboratory manager, and their chemistry students at Ashland University has shown that many jewelry items pose a potential danger because of high lead content.
Ashland University chemistry students analyzed pieces of this inexpensive jewelry from local stores. The majority of items tested vastly exceeded the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines of a maximum lead content of 0.06 percent by weight.

The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning: Lead in Children’s Jewelry. ‘Over the past decade, millions of pieces of children’s jewelry have been recalled by the CPSC due to lead content. Already in 2006, 16 products have been recalled. The jewelry is often described as ‘costume’ jewelry and sold in dollar and discount stores nationwide. Recalls were also issued for products sold in higher end stores such as “American Girl” and even in Disneyland.’

Pictures of some products at The Center for Environmental Health.

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