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Metals in Children's Jewelry - Hidden Dangers

Hidden Dangers

By

Updated January 30, 2010

This jewelry was recalled in 2007 because they were found to have high levels of lead.

These High School Musical necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and charms were recalled in 2007 because they were found to have high levels of lead.

Photo courtesy of the CPSC

Toy jewelry has always been popular with kids.

This type of children's jewelry can be bought from vending machines, as a part of jewelry craft sets, or from department stores and can include charm bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, etc.

Unfortunately, this type children's jewelry can be a hidden danger to your kids as they have often been made with high levels of lead, which has led to more than 50 recalls of 180 million pieces of hazardous children's jewelry since 2004.

Although typically made in China and characterized as being 'cheap jewelry,' children's jewelry that has been recalled in the last few years include many well-known names, including American Girl, Liz Claiborne, Limited Too, and Michaels Stores.

Children's Jewelry Risks

The risk of lead poisoning from children's jewelry is clear. Even though the CPSC has placed limits on lead content of metal components of children's jewelry since August 2009, a lot of the older recalled children's jewelry is still out there.

And even as lead has been removed from new children's jewelry, it has been found that other toxic metals, including cadmium, antimony and barium, are now being used to make some imported children's jewelry.

Children's Jewelry Safety

To keep your children safe and avoid the risks from hazardous children's jewelry, parents should:

  • make sure that any children's jewelry that they already have has not been recalled
  • avoid buying new cheap metal jewelry for your kids
  • encourage kids who do play with cheap metal jewelry to avoid putting the jewelry in their mouths, since chewing, sucking on, or swallowing a piece of children's jewelry is the main way that your child will be harmed by any hazardous metals that they may have been made with

Children's Jewelry Recalls

Some recent recalls of children's jewelry include, but is not limited to:

Parents should review all of the recalls of children's jewelry at the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure any jewelry their kids are playing with has not been recalled.



Sources:

CDC. Lead. Toy Jewelry. Accessed January 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/jewelry.htm

CPSC. Guide for Parents: The Dangers of Heavy Metals in Children's Jewelry. Accessed January 2010. http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/01/guide-for-parents-the-dangers-of-heavy-metals-in-childrens-jewelry/

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