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Health risks: costume jewelry often with a high lead content

Health risks: costume jewelry often with a high lead content



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Cheap jewelry contaminated with health-threatening heavy metals
Cheap costume jewelry is often contaminated with health-threatening heavy metals. In a current report, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) refers to the discovery of lead and cadmium above the applicable limit values. The experts are asking manufacturers to do more "to avoid health risks".

Cheap costume jewelry in the sights of the surveillance authorities
Last year, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) pointed out that more and more nickel is being used in costume jewelry. Many people are allergic to this metal. When they come into contact with nickel, they develop what is known as contact eczema, which appears as an itchy rash. Now inexpensive costume jewelry has once again come under the surveillance authorities' eye.

High lead and cadmium content
The BVL warns of high lead and cadmium content in costume jewelry. This is partly above the applicable limit values. In a press release from the Federal Office, it says: "After several individual finds of inexpensive costume jewelry with increased lead and cadmium contents, the product group was increasingly monitored by official supervision in 2015."

Made entirely of lead
32 samples (12 percent) of the 262 samples taken by the inspectors showed lead values ​​above the applicable maximum level of 500 mg / kg. In one examined chain, the two snap hooks were even made entirely of lead.

According to the report, the cadmium content in 26 samples (ten percent) exceeded the limit of 100 mg / kg.

Longer-term intake of heavy metals
According to health experts, the long-term intake of high amounts of heavy metals can lead to serious illnesses. Lead can cause serious damage to the nervous system, blood formation and kidneys. Lead poisoning can also affect fertility. And cadmium can damage kidneys and bones.

Manufacturers need to do more to avoid health risks
Juliane Becker, the chairwoman of the State Working Group on Consumer Protection (LAV), said: “The results of official surveillance of consumer goods show that cheap costume jewelry is often problematic. The danger arises especially when the jewelry, e.g. a ring or pendant that can be swallowed. Then serious, even fatal poisoning is possible. "

And BVL President Helmut Tschiersky stated: "The manufacturers and importers of costume jewelry clearly have to do more to avoid health risks."

Substances hazardous to health in food
The BVL also referred to substances that are hazardous to health in food. As part of the nationwide monitoring, plant-based foods are regularly checked for residues of pesticides and pesticides. "In 2015, the herbs rosemary, dill, oregano and chives were also taken into account for the first time," the office writes.

It turned out that many of these herbs were contaminated with pesticides.

In its report on food safety, the BVL reports: "Pesticide residues have been detected to varying degrees in all foods of plant origin examined for them."

Aluminum in herbs
"The highest proportions of samples with residues above the legally stipulated maximum levels were recorded for the herbs rosemary (9.0%), dill (7.6%) and oregano (6.5%)," it continues.

Relatively high aluminum contents were also determined for the oregano, chives, dill and rosemary herbs. "An explanation for the high aluminum content of these herbs could be an aluminum enrichment from the soils of the growing areas," said the experts.

Poison to the nervous system
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends not consuming more than one milligram (mg) of aluminum per kilogram of body weight. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), many people swallow so much aluminum just by eating that the weekly tolerable amount is already exhausted.

But humans not only ingest aluminum through food, but also through cosmetic products, for example aluminum deodorants.

An increased intake of aluminum has long been associated with the development of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's, although the data is not yet clear. According to experts, aluminum is poison for the nervous system, fertility and unborn life. (ad)

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