Exposure To Lead Paint From Jewelry

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Unfortunately, lead and lead-based paint are common materials used in the construction of popular costume jewelry for both adults and children. This type of jewelry can be very harmful because of its close proximity to the skin believe it or not, just wearing lead-tainted jewelry against the skin can cause damage to internal organs. Lead-tainted children's jewelry is not allowed on the market because of the harm it can cause children who are exposed to it, but every year some pieces of children's costume jewelry makes it past inspections and into the market, and therefore into people's homes.

It is impossible to tell by looking at the jewelry, or by its brand name or retailer, if that piece of jewelry contains lead or not. So it is advised that parents avoid giving children under the age of six any type of jewelry made with metal or fake pearls, because there are no guarantees that these products are lead- free. Lead fillers and coating on costume jewelry can pose a threat to children who might put the jewelry into their mouth.

Testing your costume jewelry is one way to determine whether or not it has lead content. You can test your jewelry yourself, using a hand-held testing kit which is widely available at local hardware stores.

China continues to violate regulations regarding lead-containing costume jewelry. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has imposed restrictions on China for importing children's jewelry into the United States and causing damage to children. Instead of banning the importation of metal jewelry, China is trying to negotiate with the United States in order to be allowed to indicate with a sticker or label which jewelry contains some lead.

In the year 2005, about one hundred and fifty million pieces of children's metal jewelry were recalled by the United States government for lead level violations.

The CPSC works very hard to protect consumers from lead-based jewelry. Deaths and injuries from lead exposure from jewelry cost the United States monetary damages in excess of $700 billion dollars per year, according to the CPSC.

Lead poisoning is a very serious matter. Lead can cause nervous system damage, stunted growth, hearing loss, and delayed development. It also affects every organ system of the body, but primarily the kidneys, causing extensive kidney damage. It can also damage the reproductive systems of both women and men.

If you are concerned about your family being exposed to lead , contact your local health department and request an inspection of the property, or a consultation vis-a-vis the removal or reduction of lead from your home. A blood test is the only accurate way to find out if you or a family member have been exposed to lead. Your doctor or health department can provide you with the necessary testing.