Oakland, CA-The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) today announced that testing performed for the California Attorney General found high levels of lead in jewelry purchased this year from four more leading retailers, including a $200 necklace from Saks Fifth Avenue that contained more than 175,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead. The Attorney General has notified Saks and the three other retailers, Express, Wet Seal, and Styles for Less, that their jewelry is in violation of California law.
"Buyers need to know that even expensive jewelry can have high levels of lead," said Caroline Cox, CEH Research Director. "Lead can pose real health threats, especially to pregnant women or kids who play with their parent's jewelry."
Two recent studies, both published in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences's peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, demonstrated the impacts that lead exposure during pregnancy can have on a woman's unborn child.
One study, investigating children's IQ scores in relation to their mother's blood lead level, concluded that lead exposure during pregnancy could have "lasting and possibly permanent effects" on a child's IQ. The second study showed that lead exposure during the first trimester (three month period), when some women are not even aware that they are pregnant, had the most pronounced effects on a child's mental development.
Last week, CEH announced finding high levels of lead in jewelry purchased and tested through a grant from the Proposition 65 Jewelry Testing Fund from Claire's, Cost Plus, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, DD's Discount, and The Buckle, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control released their findings of leaded jewelry from Long's Drugstores and small stores in the Los Angeles area.
CEH has purchased jewelry for the Proposition 65 Jewelry Testing Fund from retailers in the Bay Area and the Los Angeles area since September. The nonprofit is investigating jewelry for compliance to the California law under a grant administered by the California Attorney General.
CEH's has previously uncovered lead threats to children from toys, vinyl baby bibs, children's jewelry and other products. CEH has a twelve-year track record of protecting children from hidden health hazards in consumer products and protecting communities from health hazards related to toxic pollution. CEH also works with major industries and leaders in green business to promote healthier alternatives to toxic products and practices.