Your Costume Jewelry Is Killing You

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Photo: Sebastian Schroeder/iStock/iStock

Get thee to Cartier! Michigan-based nonprofit the Ecology Center tested 99 different samples of costume jewelry sold at Claire's, H&M, Forever 21, Walmart, Hot Topic, and Target, among other stores, for lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, mercury, and arsenic. And more than half of the items contained high levels of hazardous chemicals. That gives a new meaning to "You look radiant!" (We know, that hurt us, too). In fact:

Twenty-seven of the products had greater than 300 ppm lead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)'s lead limit in children's products. Chromium and nickel, which often cause allergic reactions, were found in over 90 percent of items. Cadmium, a toxic metal that has been the basis for several jewelry and toy recalls ... was found in 10 percent of the samples.

So, scratch these suckers off your shopping list — Claire's Gold 8 Bracelet Set, Forever 21's Long Pearl Flower Necklace, Walmart's Silver Star Bracelet, and Target's Silver Charm Necklace. Or just think of how elegant each would look paired with a hazmat suit.