This is a big week for lead.
We reported Monday that lead has been found in several major and private-label brands of juice and packaged fruit. Today, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute announced that after testing children’s jewelry from Claire’s, Target and Walmart for lead, they found that “every piece of jewelry tested greatly exceeded the government’s lead limit allowed for children’s products,” up to 124 times the permissible level.
Additionally, most pieces they tested contained cadmium, the poisonous substance found in the paint on the Shrek glasses McDonald’s recently recalled. Unfortunately, this isn’t anything new. Back in January, SD blogger Sandy reported that the Associated Press found high levels of cadmium in children’s jewelry from the same retailers.
Good Housekeeping is urging the Consumer Product Safety Commission to place an immediate recall on the offending items. They say, “Regardless of warning labels indicating the jewelry was not intended for children under age 7, 12, or 14, the pieces evaluated by the Research Institute have obvious kid appeal because of the small size and kid-friendly design.”
Rosemary Ellis, editor in chief of Good Housekeeping, says, “Kids often put jewelry and other trinkets into their mouths—and that’s where the danger is. It’s alarming that manufacturers are still selling potentially dangerous products to children.”
What is perhaps most alarming is that Good Housekeeping says, “even a sterling silver label is no guarantee of safety. Some of the pieces the Research Institute evaluated were labeled sterling silver, and yet they also contained hazardous heavy metals.”
My daughter has had her ears pierced twice, once at Walmart and once at Claire’s. (She lost an earring while at her Dad’s house, he couldn’t figure out how to get it back in, the hole closed, you know how it goes.) I’ve purchased a bunch of kids’ jewelry from both stores. In fact the earrings she’s wearing right now are from Claire’s, but they’re mostly plastic. Who knows what they have in them?
And what about jewelry from other big-box retailers, or small businesses like Toy Joy in Austin, TX, where I bought her a metal and enamel Hello Kitty necklace? Good Housekeeping recommends parents “avoid purchasing any inexpensive jewelry for children.”
Well, there goes my fun. But, better safe than sorry, right?