Northeast Environmental
Testing Laboratory, Inc.
472 Smith Street,  Providence, Rhode Island  02908  (401) 454-3400
Copyright © 2008  Northeast Environmental Testing Laboratory, Inc.


It has recently been reported that lead in high amounts can be present in inexpensive jewelry,
much of it designed for children. In the summer of 2004, the Consumer Product Safety
Commission recalled 150 million pieces of toy jewelry sold in vending machines between 2002
and 2004 because of dangerous lead levels. It has long been known that lead is toxic and can
cause serious health problems especially in children. Excessive amounts of lead in the
bloodstream can cause neurological damage, loss of I.Q. points and even brain damage.

Some jewelry contains a lead core coated with a thin coat of another material (usually nickel). In
addition some of these pieces are decorated with brightly colored lead containing enamel. Some
ornaments are attached to the main piece of jewelry with lead containing solder. Touching lead
containing bracelets, a pretty pin, and a pair of earrings or playing with a necklace can be
dangerous. More lead enters the blood stream when children put their hands, or sometimes the
jewelry itself, in their mouths.

The presence of nickel in certain jewelry coming into direct and prolonged contact with the skin
may be sensitive to humans and may lead to allergic reactions. For these reasons the use of
nickel should be limited.

NEETL offers complete testing of jewelry and its components for
Lead or Nickel,
and other potentially hazardous metals.