Jewelries are undoubtedly the big weakness of most women. Fashion ensembles are not complete without at least a sparkling necklace or a pair of stunning earrings. As a matter of fact, a good number of 7% in America’s population include jewelry in their monthly major expense. One can say that jewelries have become a part of every household; but how much does one really pay for their jewels?
The price of a jewelry do not necessarily reflect its value. Sometimes, a cheap accessory can actually cost someone more than the price they paid for. What we’re talking about is far more important than a blood diamond — it’s one person’s health. Unknown to many, low-cost jewelries can cause health issues as light as allergic reactions to serious problems such as cancer. It can even be lethal for some.
It is tempting to snag a piece for a penny but is the price really worth paying for your health? This guide will look deeper into the dangers of buying cheap jewelry, the hazardous components one find in toxic products, and ideal alternatives to cheap-quality jewels.
Why Do Manufacturers Produce Toxic Products?
Manufacturers don’t do it by choice. Rather, they do it as a compromise to the growing cost of sourcing raw materials and cost of making these jewelries. For these products to remain available at a price that’s competitive enough for the majority of its market, jewelry-makers have resorted to using materials which cost lesser but are unfortunately, less safer.
In a research conducted by the Ecology Center in 2012, fourteen retailers, all of which are popular big brands, have had their jewelries tested under an x-ray fluorescence analyzer. Results showed that fifty percent of the ninety-nine collected items contained various levels of toxic chemicals. Sadly, these jewels were not for adults alone but more of these products were actually for children.
Imagine little ones unknowingly wearing blings that can actually do them more harm than good. What are these said components and what dangers do they pose?
Hazardous Components Dangerous to Human Health
Carcinogens and Neurotoxins
By definition, carcinogens are toxins that contain high acute toxicity in forms of hazardous substances. It is highly known to cause cancer to the human body due to irreparable damages it does to one’s DNA. There are three types of carcinogens and either of these can be found in cheap jewelries. First is the direct acting carcinogen, which is a type of carcinogen that does not require metabolic activation or any other genetic mutation to damage a person’s DNA. Then you have the Procarcinogen, which affects a person’s body by changing its metabolism. Opposite that are Cocarcinogens, which are only activated when it interacts with another chemical.
Meanwhile, neurotoxins from its name are substances that are toxic to the nervous system. Some of these toxins can be found in natural resources, while others are man-made. In low-cost jewelries, the common neurotoxins found are lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic, among others.
What are the effects of these neurotoxins to the jewelries and to a person’s body? Here’s a side by side comparison.
In Jewelries: It is used to brighten up the colors of the jewelry as well as improve the weight of the jewelry itself. Sometimes it is also used to harden up plastic materials.
In Human Bodies: Children are far more at risk to lead poisoning than adults, but the threat is there regardless. It causes sickness such as anemia, a decline in mental functions, and organ failure.
In Jewelries: Mercury is not directly used in jewelries but rather in extracting the gold that is used to create the jewelry. To acquire gold at a lower cost, artisanal gold miners use mercury to extract pieces of gold from mines. This introduces the toxic substance to the finished product.
In Human Bodies: Large amounts of mercury can lead to instantaneous death while continued exposure will cause cancer, nervous system failure, and digestive breakdown.
In Jewelries: Like mercury, arsenic exposure in jewelries come from the gold material that was used. It is purposely used in the process of making platinum malleable enough for production but the acceptable standard for arsenic content is limited to 10ppm only.
In Human Bodies: A person exposed to high arsenic content can suffer from skin irritation, hormonal imbalance, blindness, and cancer in one’s lungs, skin, and bladder to site some example.
Other Downsides of These Jewels
Apart from the high dangers brought by cheap jewelries, they also disappoint in terms of durability. It has been proven by many consumers that most of the cheap jewelries one can find in local shops can and will easily wear down. These toxic products unnecessarily expose its wearers to harm all while providing no value at all for the money spent on purchasing them.
How to Avoid Buying Cheap Jewelries?
A way to avoid dealing with all these hazardous substances is investing in better jewelries. While it still applies that the value of a jewelry is not dictated by its price, it’s still worth considering that the high toxic contents of these jewels can be traced back to the cost-cutting attempts of the sources in the first place.
Fortunately, there are still jewellers who offer sustainable jewelries at an affordable price. Take for example the Balinese artisan jewelries. These accessories are handmade by women artists of Bali using locally sourced materials which limits the cost of the production to a low amount. This then gives Balinese jewelry sellers such as Susila Jewelry an advantage for selling the products at a very affordable price. They even sell in bulk which opens a door of opportunity for resellers worldwide. And the best part of all this is that the jewellry being sold is guaranteed sustainably sourced, with 100% plastic-free options available.
Always remember that one’s health is a price too high to pay for any jewelry. Trusted brands like Susila Jewelry continue to thrive because consumers these days are more conscious of what they buy, and where it’s sourced.
To know more about Susila Jewelry’s sustainable and ethical products, leave us a message to learn more.