Cheap Accessories Contaminated With Lead: Which Are The Worst For Your Health?

'Tis the season of festive accessories. Got your pair of shiny red patent leather shoes on the cheap for that holiday party? Check. A brightly colored bag from your local fast-fashion joint for NYE? Of course. But, what if these low-cost little pops of color were compromising your health big time?
The New York Times reports that many of our cheaply made accessories could contain dangerously high levels of lead. Lead has been used in coloring processes since the Middle Ages and it's often the most bright and shiny hues that contain the most of the toxic metal. The NYT warns that "even at very low levels, it has been linked to nervous system damage, cardiovascular problems, kidney failure, and many other health problems."
Advertisement
Following a 2010 lawsuit, retailers agreed to a standard lead limit for accessories: 200 p.p.m. for leather goods and 300 p.p.m. for vinyl products. However, The Center For Environmental Health (which oversees the compliance of retailers) has found levels far in excess of the "safe" levels from some chains. The offenders? Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, and Forever 21. In 2013, these stores all sold accessories found to contain over 10,000 p.p.m. lead — over 50 times the supposed limit. Target and H&M had no violations.
While the executive director of the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association claims that the permissible levels are set lower than necessary to maintain consumer safety, many in the medical community maintain that there are no safe levels of lead in our everyday products. So, the next time you're thinking a $10 clutch would really put your outfit over the top, consider it, and its source, carefully. It might cost you more than you think. (The New York Times)
Advertisement

More from Trends

You probably already know that Donald Trump has a record of making sexist comments. But a new ad from Hillary Clinton's campaign powerfully highlights ...
When photographer Roger Kisby shot the Adult Video News Awards for the first time last year, he wasn't sure what to expect. Once there, he was drawn to the...
This article was originally published on April 8, 2016. Photographer Marcos Alberti's photo project, 3 Glasses Later, could be considered a probing ...
In Status: Stressed, Refinery29 is teaming up with Secret, the expert in stress sweat, to have an honest, passionate conversation about the role of stress...
It was the breakup heard 'round the world: On Tuesday, we learned that Brangelina was officially no more. Then, as we were all recovering from the news, ...
Many of us can probably remember being told at some point during grade school that the pesky little boy who won't stop pulling on our pigtails or throwing ...
It's hard enough to remember to smile every once in a while, let alone stay positive when someone tells you to "go fuck yourself." But that's exactly ...
(Paid Content) In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that ...
Last Sunday, new mother Anna Young posted a photo of herself, taken during a half-marathon, to the breast-feeding advocacy Facebook group, Occupy ...
By now you've probably read those viral texts exchanged between a mother and her daughter while in pursuit of tampons. (And if you haven't, you won't ...
When Delaney Robinson first entered the University of North Carolina as a freshman a little over a year ago, she was looking forward to making new ...
Everyone has a unique story from when they first learned about Their Changing Bodies, but girls of the future might be able to say this: I learned about ...
One California woman's emotional birth video is going viral after being posted online earlier this month. Audra Lynn gave birth to her second child — and ...
After the news that transgender actress and activist Alexis Arquette died Sunday morning at age 47, her family has come together to release a touching ...