Inexpensive toy jewelry sold in vending machines can pose a significant risk to children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that many of the jewelry trinkets sold in vending machines in the U.S. between January 2002 and summer 2004 contain dangerous levels of lead. Lead exposure can damage children’s brain, nerves, and blood cells, leading to behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and poor growth.
Lead poisoning is more likely if the jewelry is put in the mouth. The CPSC announced the recall of 150 million pieces of toy jewelry that have already been sold to children – the biggest product recall in history. The jewelry was brought into the U.S. from four different toy importers and was manufactured in India. According to the CPSC, ‘This toy jewelry recall involves various styles of rings, necklaces and bracelets. The rings are gold- or silver-colored with different designs and paint finishes with various shaped center stones. The necklaces have black cord or rope or gold- or silver-colored chains. The necklaces have pendants, crosses or various geometrical designs or shapes, and can include gemstones. The various styles of bracelets include charm bracelets, bracelets with medallion links, and bracelets with faux stones. The toy jewelry was sold in vending machines located in malls, discount, department and grocery stores nationwide for between $0.25 and $0.75.’
Check to see if your child might have any of this jewelry, whether or not you are in the United States. If your child does have some of the jewelry, throw it away! And if you’re in doubt about a piece, it may not be worth keeping.