Some low cost necklace jewellery was found to have excessive levels of lead, cadmium or nickel release, according to a new survey.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe study, carried out by London Trading Standards on low cost necklace jewellery found that in the worst cases parts containing 82% lead and 56% cadmium were found.\r\n\r\nLead and cadmium are known to be toxic metals and as such the levels allowed in jewellery are restricted to 0.05 percent and 0.01 percent by weight respectively.\r\n\r\nThe greatest risk from excessive lead content is to children who may be tempted to mouth their jewellery regularly, so parental supervision to prevent this happening is recommended.\r\n\r\nThe risks from high cadmium content are most acute during the manufacture or alteration of items, when its vapour may be inhaled; so actual end users should not be unduly alarmed by these findings.\r\n\r\nNickel is known to create a sensitivity reaction and is the most common cause of contact allergy in Europe. The rate of release of the metal is restricted by safety regulations to 0.88\u03bcg\/cm2\/week yet. One sample found had a rate of over 60.\r\n\r\nFifteen London authorities took part in the survey sampling 30 non-precious metal necklaces which were bought from stalls and shops across London. Individual components of each sample were then tested for lead and cadmium content and nickel release levels.\r\n\r\nAs a result of the findings trading standards have been working to ensure corrective action is taken against the suppliers concerned and that the products are removed from sale.\r\n\r\nSteve Playle, spokesperson for London Trading Standards, said: \u201cLondon Trading Standards view product safety as a priority issue and have worked collaboratively to undertake sampling across the capital.\r\n\r\n\u201cSome manufacturers and importers of low cost jewellery clearly need to improve their quality standards to ensure legal requirements are met. We urge suppliers to make sure they source stock from reputable traceable sources and ask for proof of compliance\u201d\r\n\r\nJohn Milligan, chairman of The Jewellery Distributors\u2019 Association, said: \u201cThese results come as no surprise to my organisation which supports responsible jewellery businesses. The REACH regulations are expensive to comply with, in terms of testing, and, no doubt, expensive to enforce for hard pressed local trading standards.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe temptation to cut corners by less scrupulous suppliers means law abiding jewellery manufactures and importers face a major competitive disadvantage which threatens their very survival.