Some jewelry purchased from Rainbow and 5-7-9 retail stores last month contains high levels of lead – even pieces marked “lead-free,” according to the Center for Environmental Health. A heart pendant intended for adults was 97% lead, and a clasp on a piece labeled “Kids” and “Lead Free” was 87% lead.
The metal is extremely toxic, especially to young children, and kids have died after swallowing lead-containing jewelry. Children exposed to high levels of lead can also develop anemia, stomachache, muscle weakness, and brain damage. Experts are increasingly coming to the conclusion that there is no safe level of lead exposure for pregnant women and young children.
In adults, lead can increase blood pressure and cause infertility, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, irritability and concentration and memory problems.
The CEH tests jewelry purchased from retailers across California for lead, and is funded through a state grant. Fifteen different jewelry pieces from Rainbow and 5-7-9 stores tested with lead levels between 57% and 97%, and this is the fourth time the CEH has found the stores in violation of laws against lead in jewelry in just over a year.
Tags: lead poisoning