ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 15 (UPI) -- Jewelry sold for children by 14 U.S. retailers contained high levels of heavy metals such as lead, chromium, nickel and cadmium, a non-profit group said.
Officials at the Ecology Center, based in Michigan, said 99 pieces of jewelry were tested from Ming 99 City, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Big Lots, Claire's, Glitter, Forever 21, Walmart, H&M, Meijers, Kohl's, Justice, Icing and Hot Topic in Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Vermont.
HealthyStuff.org measured the jewelry with an X-ray fluorescence analyzer. The study found overall, 59 percent of products tested were rated as having high level of concern due the presence of one or more heavy metals detected at high levels.
Specifically, the study found:
-- 27 percent of the jewelry contained greater than 100 parts per million of lead in one or more components.
-- 10 percent of the jewelry contained greater than 100 ppm cadmium.
-- 93 percent of the jewelry had concentrations greater than 100 ppm of the metal allergens chromium.
-- 30 percent contained nickel.
-- 13 percent contained greater than 100 ppm arsenic.
-- 5 percent contained greater than 100 ppm mercury.
"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," Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, said in a statement. "We urge manufacturers to start replacing these chemicals with non-toxic substances immediately."
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