Quantcast

Avoid Buying Toxic Jewelry for Kids This Holiday Season

If you're buying jewelry for a little girl this holiday season, take steps to make sure you're not giving gifts that contain hazardous substances

One step might be to look at where you buy the jewelry. A recent report by the Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) shows that Walmart is selling jewelry with alarmingly high levels of lead.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Lead is highly toxic to the developing brain and there is no safe level of exposure, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Adverse effects can include decreased IQ levels, increased ADHD and increased hearing impairment as blood lead levels increase. 

WTC purchased a variety of jewelry such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets labeled “Distributed by Wal-mart Stores, Inc.” in August. Many of the jewelry purchased has sparkly, brightly colored designs that appeal to young girls.

WTC found that eight out of 34 (almost 25 percent) of Walmart jewelry tested contained levels of lead ranging from 7,748 ppm (parts per million) to 357,790 ppm—which made the pieces more than one-third lead. That is 300 times the federal limit of 100 ppm for children’s products.

MomsRising, during its #EcoTipTue tweet chat this week, gathered tips from WTC and Non-Toxic Kids about how to avoid toxins in jewelry and take action to spread the word and protect others.

Here are the eight top tips from the chat:

  1. Speak up to retailers. Ask if their jewelry is lead-free and demand safer products.
  2. Buy jewelry only from reputable companies that you trust. One tip is to buy nothing under $10—but even then we can’t be sure.
  3. Look for (or make your own) jewelry from silver, gold, beads, or cloth.
  4. Avoid jewelry labeled “Not for children,” which could be hiding lead or other heavy metals.
  5. Spread the word: tell neighbors, grandparents or anyone who will listen that trinkets from coin machines, Walmart, or Claire’s may be harmful.
  6. Call on Walmart to protect child health and only sell safe, lead-free jewelry. Until they do—don’t buy it.
  7. Encourage kids to wash hands frequently and keep jewelry out of their mouths.
  8. Purge your child’s costume jewelry every so often and keep the safer choices.
  9. Teach 'tweens and teens about this issue—and how it can affect them. Instead of simply telling them they can’t have the jewelry, engage with youth on the issue. Join with them to encourage better choices.
  10. Consider a safer, high-quality piece of jewelry when buying gifts for family and friends.

WTC is calling on Walmart to act to protect public health, especially children, through these actions:

  • Immediately remove these lead-containing jewelry products from its stores.
  • Commit to a timeline for phasing out Mind the Store’s list of Hazardous Hundred chemicals, which includes lead, from all of its products.

In addition, WTC is calling on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate these products for compliance in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and to take appropriate enforcement action.

"With everything we know about the devastating, costly effects of exposure to lead, it is unconscionable that such high levels were found in the products they sell,” said Erika Schreder, WTC science director.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Climate
A train at Metro-North Railroad's Croton-Harmon station, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30, 2012. Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York / CC BY 2.0

The Big Apple Loses to Big Oil as Judge Dismisses Climate Liability Suit

A federal judge ruled on Thursday in favor of a motion by five big oil companies to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by New York City, which demanded they pay the costs of adapting the city's infrastructure to climate change, The New York Times reported.

The ruling comes nearly a month after a federal judge in San Francisco dismissed a similar case brought by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco.

Keep reading... Show less
GMO
Brian Smith and his cousin Hughes, both fifth generation soybean farmers in Mississippi County, Arkansas, stand in soybean fields their family tend to that show signs of having been affected by dicamba use in August, 2017. Getty Images

New Dicamba Drift Estimate: 1.1 Million Acres Damaged Already in 2018

A University of Missouri report released Thursday estimates that drift damage from the pesticide dicamba has occurred across 1.1 million acres of agricultural crops, trees and other plants so far this year.

This comes less than a year after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many states introduced additional restrictions meant to prevent off-target damage from the pesticide. Last year dicamba drift wreaked havoc on a reported 3.6 million acres of soybean crops not genetically engineered to resist the notoriously drift-prone pesticide.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Andreas Gücklhorn

Most Popular Energy Source? Everyone Loves Solar

By John Rogers

A recent survey shows yet again that solar panels (and wind turbines) have a level of bipartisan popularity that would be the envy of any politician. That means we'll have something safe to talk about at the next barbecue after all.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Moon with orange-colored troposphere band, the lowest and most dense portion of the earth's atmosphere. NASA

‘Powerful Evidence’ of Global Warming’s Effect on Seasons Found in Troposphere

By Daisy Dunne

Scientists studying the troposphere—the lowest level of the atmosphere—have found "powerful evidence" that climate change is altering seasonal temperatures.

A study published in Science finds that climate change has caused an increase in the difference between summer and winter temperatures across North America and Eurasia over the past four decades.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health
Susan Hedman, administrator of EPA's Region 5 during the Flint water crisis, testifies before congress. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

EPA Watchdog Finds Agency Failed in Flint Water Crisis

A report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) internal watchdog organization published Thursday argued that the EPA needed to step up its monitoring of state drinking water in the aftermath of the Flint, Michigan water crisis, CBS reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Emilie Chen / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Against All Odds, Mountain Gorilla Numbers Are on the Rise

By Jason Bittel

The news coming out of East Africa's Virunga Mountains these days would have made the late (and legendary) conservationist Dian Fossey very happy. According to the most recent census, the mountain gorillas introduced to the world in Gorillas in the Mist, Fossey's book and the film about her work, have grown their ranks from 480 animals in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Add another couple hundred apes living in scattered habitats to the south, and their population as a whole totals more than 1,000. Believe it or not, this makes the mountain gorilla subspecies the only great apes known to be increasing in number.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals
The Florida manatee is one of the animals currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. USFWS / Southeast

Trump Administration Announces Sweeping Proposal to Weaken Endangered Species Act

A week after House Republicans announced legislation intended to weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Trump administration joined the attack with a proposal environmentalists say would favor developers over vulnerable plant and animal species.

Keep reading... Show less
Renewable Energy
Denver will get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Robert Kash / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Denver to Go 100 Percent Renewable by 2030

Denver became the 73rd city in the U.S. to commit to 100 percent renewable energy when Mayor Michael Hancock announced the goal in his State of the City speech Monday, The Denver Post reported.

The commitment is part of the city's larger 80×50 Climate Action Plan unveiled by Hancock Tuesday, which seeks to reduce Denver's greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2050.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!