Parents and grandparents should be wary of the jewelry that you give your children or grandchildren. For over two years I have been operating an environmental technology company, providing X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) testing for moms and dads, businesses, industry and government. Our desire is to help people and businesses “know what is in their environment” provide information, create jobs, stimulate business and improve lives.
XRF testing is a non-destructive means to identify potentially harmful elements such as lead and cadmium in virtually anything and being an owner of such a company provides me with the ability to test the items that my family, specifically children, may come in contact with.
Last week we gathered up some items that were given to my nieces by their grandmother and tested them using our equipment. With this knowledge you have the ability to make simple decisions that can mitigate potential harm.
I tested several necklaces; some were brand new when given to my nieces and others were very old, my nieces great grandmothers. Testing results found lead levels over 30 percent in two of the charms on the necklaces; these charms also had antimony at close to 1 percent. I also found cadmium in a plastic beaded necklace over 7000 Parts Per Million (PPM) and lower amounts in other jewelry.
Now just because these items had potentially harmful metals in them, doesn’t mean that they are going to harm my nieces. However, those metals are present in those items and the simple act of removing these items from “regular” use mitigates the potential harm. This doesn’t mean to throw these items out; this could create an environmental problem and some of these items are family heirlooms and should be kept and shared, when appropriate. However, if know what is in your environment, you can mitigate potential harm.
So what can you do?
You should be wary of the things you give your children or grand children. Make sure that your children, who are old enough to understand, don’t put these items in their mouth.
In a blog written by CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum:
Because of these recent developments, I have a message for parents, grandparents and caregivers: Do not allow young children to be given or to play with cheap metal jewelry, especially when they are unsupervised…
We have proof that lead in children’s jewelry is dangerous and was pervasive in the marketplace. To prevent young children from possibly being exposed to lead, cadmium or any other hazardous heavy metal, take the jewelry away.
Parents should know that swallowing, sucking on or chewing a metal charm or necklace could result in exposure to lead, cadmium or other heavy metals, which are known to be toxic at certain levels of exposure.
If you truly want to know what you may be giving your children or grandchildren, you could have these items tested by XRF analyzers, but there are costs involved to do XRF testing.
If you are would like to have any of your “family heirlooms” inspected for lead, cadmium or other heavy metals, please feel free to join us in Tacoma on March 20th.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know and i will try and answer your questions.