Costume Jewelry, Deadly Disguise

Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons

The next time a friend says, “Dahhhling, you look positively radiant!” — well, she may be telling more truth than not.

This week, the Ecology Center released the results of its tests of dozens of low-cost jewelry from stores like Forever 21 and H&M. The Michigan nonprofit found that more than half of all such jewelry contained high levels of toxic substances, such as lead, chlorine and brominated flame retardants.

More than half (57 percent) 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 percent cadmium, a known carcinogen. Fifty percent contained lead, with over half of these containing more than 100 ppm of lead in one or more components, exceeding the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) limit of lead in children’s products.

“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 “We urge manufacturers to start replacing these chemicals with non-toxic substances immediately.”

That flashy bracelet from Hot Topic may be “hot” in more ways than one.

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Crystal Garcia has been writing about health and fitness since 2008. An avid runner, Crystal is always racing after the next big nutrition breakthrough that can maximize her running times.

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