Can costume jewelry be dangerous?

When I went on a recent shopping trip, one of my top must-buy spring items were these adorable bright colored bangles that I've been coveting. I also wanted to find a new faux silver necklace to replace the one I had broken earlier this month, but I never found one that I liked. Perhaps that was for the best, though, since new tests have found that costume jewelry has high levels of toxins and carcinogens.

It turns out that many pieces of costume jewelry contain unsafe chemicals, including lead, chromium and nickel, despite strict regulations.

Low-cost jewelry may  be saving us some money when it comes to getting the latest styles, but is it a wise choice to keep buying it when it could be endangering your, or your children's, health?

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Tests were conducted by The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based non-profit organization that advocates for a safe and healthy environment. After testing 99 different children's and adult jewelry pieces from 14 different retailers, researchers found that over half of the products had high levels of these hazardous chemicals.  

In a report published on HealthyStuff.org (and subsequent video, below), Jeff Gearhart, Research Director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, said:

"There is no excuse for jewelry, especially children's jewelry, to be made with some of the most well studied and dangerous substances on the planet. We urge manufacturers to start replacing these chemicals with non-toxic substances immediately."

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This is a frightening new revelation. I don't know if I can go home tonight and throw out all of my fake jewelry, but it really makes me wonder how many of my pieces are hurting me. My mom was always a much bigger fan of real gold or silver jewelry, because she liked that it could last longer and was always suspicious of what the costume jewelry was made of. I guess mom was right, huh? At the very least, I'm going to be a lot more cautious from now on.  

What will you do with all of your costume jewelry, now that you know it may actually be dangerous to you and your family?

Image via YouTube