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Toxic Jewelry
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Categories: Instruction and information; Jewelry

Word count/read time: 459 words; 2 minutes

For something that's a luxury item and supposed to be and/or feel good to wear - safe, even - the concept is frightening! Here are some ways jewelry can be toxic.

We have learned how certain metals affect our health. Lead is thought to be most harmful to children but it does wreak havoc on adults as well. It won't be in fine jewelry. However, certain countries continue to manufacture lead-based items or toys for world-wide distribution.

Naturally you'll ask yourself what's in the jewelry besides silver or gold? Cadmium (here and here) has been identified as a bad actor, maybe the worst. Some refineries won't even accept metals containing it.

Further down the line you'll find less severe "poisonous" metals mainly from allergic reactions. Nickel leads the list; copper and zinc are the next two offenders. Ironically, even though copper is anti-viral and anti-microbial, it causes issues for a fair number of people.

Don't forget the fake silver from China that's created with human and environmental misery. Consumers and wholesalers are fully accepting as long as it's stamped with '925' or whatever makes it seem legit.

They follow the same business model with a minor change.
Most have heard of blood diamonds but fewer have heard of conflict minerals. They follow the same business model with a minor change. Instead of murdering or enslaving indigenous tribes for their diamonds, it's for their gold and minerals.

Naturally, the world gold pools are polluted despite every effort to the contrary. Governments have tried supply chain documentation but it will never be "clean" as long as one greedy person is involved.

Certified non-conflict mining is still destructive and dirty. There is nothing sustainable or respectful about it. Pristine habitats are decimated, animals and plants wiped out, and the landscape scarred to feed our insatiable lust for first-world gadgets, greed, or power. Toxic is an understatement.

Our planet can no longer sustain indiscriminate, selfish whims. People must ensure their purchases are measured with good karma. For luxury items like jewelry that should endure for generations, it is a necessity. "Fast jewelry" is an oxymoron.

Toxicity from the product itself is commonplace (as opposed to the actual metal content). There's lots of dangerous jewelry. Lazy, irresponsible manufacturers use poorly cut rings with sharp edges. They don't close rings properly or weld/solder when necessary. Such negligence increases the likelihood of getting scratched due to the sharp edges, burrs, and other problems. Add some superbugs (bacteria, viruses, etc.) to the wound and you have a recipe for disaster.

I have refined my own metals from scrap materials since the beginning. There is no new mining, exploited workers, or dubious history. Its pedigree is clean, a socially and environmentally responsible choice. Plus it's handmade to exacting standards without sharp or exposed edges. What's your health worth?

Posted by M: February 12, 2022

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