HealthyStuff.org tested jewelry for chemicals based on their toxicity or suspected toxicity, persistence, and/or tendency to build up in people and the environment. These chemicals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and bromine and chlorine (PVC) have been linked in animal and some human studies to acute allergies and to long-term health impacts such as birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer.
HealthyStuff.org measured the presence of these chemicals with an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer -- a proven, accurate screening tool of elements in products. Select products were also tested for total lead and total cadmium by digesting samples in nitric acid and analyzing with atomic absorption.
99 pieces of jewelry were tested, from 14 different retailers located in six different states (Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Vermont). Jewelry was purchase in December 2011. Most jewelry purchased was under $10.
Samples were purchase from 14 retailers include Ming 99 Cent City, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Big Lots, Claire's, Forever 21, Glitter, Walmart, H&M;, Meijers, Kohl's, Justice, Icing and Hot Topic.
*Note: Not all products were tested for all chemicals. Four products were only tested for lead and cadmium.
Products with crystal components
Of the 31 components that had lead levels between 41 and 300 ppm, 4 were from gem/crystal and 27 were from non-gem/crystal
Of the 52 component that had lead levels above 300 ppm, 25 were from gem/crystal and 27 were from non-gem/crystal
NOTE: HealthyStuff.org is an initial screening of chemicals in products for a handful of hazardous chemicals. There are a number of chemicals of concern that the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) device and HealthyStuff.org cannot detect. For example, there has been much concern recently about bisphenol A, a component of polycarbonate plastic. The XRF device is not able to detect bisphenol A, nor can it identify polycarbonate. In addition, the XRF device cannot detect phthalates, a family of chemicals of concern, although we have used the presence of PVC plastic as a surrogate for the likely presence of phthalates.
Published on March 13, 2012
There are no published samples in this report.