We’ve known about lead in jewelry, sold in little coin-operated machines in grocery stores, that have poisoned many kids. Also, a charm that came with Reebok sneakers killed a boy last year. The jewelry is usually (no surprise) is made in China, and violates many state and a new national law that goes into effect in February.
But now jewelry that was purchased at major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Banana Republic, Lane Bryant, Express, Anchor Blue, Abercrombie & Fitch, Longs Drug Stores and CVS stores have violated California laws limiting lead content, according to the Center for Environmental Health and to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The rate of lead in jewelry is going down, thanks to recent laws, but parents should know it is still present in jewelry for sale this holiday season at popular stores.
Here are a few of the recommendations for how to get the lead out, again from the SF Chronicle:
“– It’s difficult to determine whether metal jewelry pieces or coatings contain lead. Suspicious products include dull-looking metals, coated fake pearls, and plastic or vinyl cords.
— Avoid giving small children jewelry, especially pieces with metal parts and fake pearls. Safer products for older children and adults include silver, leather and some ceramic beads.
— The Center for Environmental Health is hosting several toy-testing events throughout the Bay Area, where people can go to get jewelry tested. For more information, go to www.cehca.org.”
This is certainly disturbing for parents who have “junk jewelry” boxes for their kids, as I do. My jewelry is certainly not high quality, or expensive, and I bet much of it is at risk for containing lead. There are different levels set for lead in adult jewelry, and it is certainly not as regulated as children’s jewelry, which isn’t regulated well at all! And I don’t want to throw it all out. So I am stuck again in a Eco-Environmental Health No Man’s Land.
The tired parent’s take home message? Be very careful when purchasing jewelry for your child, especially if your child is likely to suck on the jewelry. Stick with pure silver, gold, leather or ceramic jewelry, or none at all! And set aside that junk jewelry pile if it as suspect as mine.
image: Center for Environmental Health, Oakland