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Lead and Other Toxins Found in Children’s Jewelry at Walmart and Other Retailers

EMSL Analytical tests for lead and other heavy metals in consumer products and environmental samples


New research, conducted by the Michigan-based nonprofit Ecology Center, has discovered high levels of toxic substances in many pieces of children’s costume jewelry that are sold in Walmart and other retailers. The products contained unsafe levels of lead, as well as other dangerous metals such as arsenic, chromium and nickel.
Researchers at the Ecology Center tested 99 unique children’s and adult jewelry pieces from 14 different retailers (such as Target, Claire’s, Forever 21, and Walmart) in Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont. The samples were analyzed for arsenic, lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, and mercury.
More than half of the pieces had high levels of dangerous substances, and 27 items had over 300 ppm of lead, which is the limit established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for children’s products. Over 90 percent of the samples tested positive for chromium and nickel, which can cause allergic reactions. Cadmium was found in 10 percent of the items.
Children are at the greatest risk for toxic substances, because they are still developing and their small bodies would contain higher concentrations than adults. Moreover, they are likely to place items in their mouths, which increases their exposure.
“EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s largest commercial laboratories, provides testing services for lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, chlorine, and other substances in consumer products, food, soil, water, and air samples,” reported Shannon Kauffman, Metals Laboratory Supervisor at EMSL. “We can help companies ensure heavy metals levels are within permissible limits through advanced heavy metal testing services.”
For more information on EMSL’s testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, visit, or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please see our website for a complete listing of accreditations.


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