Costume jewelry is a cheap and fun way to accessorize, but new findings might make you think twice before you treat yourself to a bargain bin necklace. A recent study conducted by The Ecology Center, an environmental non-profit organization in Michigan, found that many pieces of costume jewelry contain high levels of unsafe chemicals including lead, chromium and nickel.
Researchers tested 99 pieces of children's and adult jewelry from 14 stores like Target, Claire's, Forever 21, Walmart, H&M, Kohl's, Justice, Icing and Hot Topic; over half of the items tested had high levels of hazardous substances. To see a full list of products, click here.
In a written statement Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center, stated: "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." Dr. Kenneth R. Spaeth, director of the environmental medicine center at North Shore University Hospital in New York state, said that the danger doesn’t come from wearing the jewelry, but, “When pieces are small enough to fit in (a child's) mouth, the likelihood of ingestion increases dramatically,” he said.
Spokespeople for Target and Walmart responded to the results and said that the costume jewelry they sell meets federal safety standards, and is intended for adults to wear. However, Scott Wolfson, communications director at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), told CBS News that the CPSC plans to pick up samples of the jewelry themselves and learn more about it.
Do you think the sale and manufacturing of costume jewelry should be more closely monitored?