The Truth About Sterling Silver Jewelry and Potentially Harmful Contaminants

Despite the strengthening of regulations in many parts of the world some silver jewelry manufacturers are still sending out unsafe products to the market place.

Most consumers are unaware of the fact that the sterling silver jewelry they purchase and wear may contain alloys that can be harmful to health. The issue simply doesn’t cross the mind of the majority of buyers.

As a result, most people do not stop to check whether the rings, bracelets, necklaces and other items they are buying are, in fact, safe to wear. Perhaps the only exception is buyers that have sensitive skin. People who fall into that category know, all too well, that the silver jewelry they buy needs to be as pure as it can be, if they are to avoid skin rashes and hives.

Most countries have introduced regulations to govern how much nickel, lead, cadmium, phthalates and other harmful substances clothing and jewelry products that are produced or sold there can contain. For example, the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was introduced in the USA, in 2008. This piece of legislation outlined safe limits for a long list of metals and chemicals that should not be in the products, including silver jewelry, sold to the public.

In Europe, over the past two decades, a range of similar laws have been passed. Raising standards for all kinds of consumer products including the alloys used in jewelry. Directive 94/27/EC, which is also known as the Nickel Directive is one such example. This piece of legislation was introduced in 1994, and most EU member states, like the UK, incorporated the standards within the directive into their local laws.

Unfortunately, it is becoming clear that not all silver jewelry manufacturers are adhering to the standards. Earlier this year, extensive checks carried out by Washington State’s Department of Ecology identified children’s jewelry items for sale in the area that contained extremely high levels of cadmium. In some cases, items were 98% cadmium, which is highly toxic soft metal.

In April of this year, a line of jewelry kits made by a major craft manufacturer were withdrawn from sale in New York State. Some of the kits, which were produced in China, were found to contain ten times more lead than is permitted under US standards. It is clear from the major violations that have recently been discovered that some silver jewelry manufacturers are not just flouting the rules, some are totally ignoring them completely.

However, some more ethical manufacturers do take the matter of contaminants in the alloys that they use, very seriously indeed. One such manufacturer is the Thailand based firm, ELF925.

A spokesperson from the company Bruno Golenia explained why they take this matter so seriously. He said:

“We have seen the studies into the harm contaminants like lead, nickel and cadmium can do to people, so producing safe sterling silver jewelry is the only way forward. ELF925 is an ethically run company that takes the safety of everyone, including the end consumer, very seriously. Therefore, we have strict guidelines in place and regularly check that the jewelry we produce conforms to the standards of the 30 countries our products are sold in, including the US, UK and Europe.”

Governments are becoming increasingly aware of the problem of non-compliance. Therefore, many are carrying out more checks. Eventually, these checks will improve adherenceto the rules, in the meantime, jewelry retailers will need to continue to be careful about which company they buy their wholesale silver jewelry from.

Contact Info:
Name: Peter Evans
Email: Send Email
Organization: ELF925
Address: 92/1 Krung Thonburi Road, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Phone: +66 2 860 6262

Release ID: 121207