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QUESTION: What is the maximum acceptable lead content in adult's fashion jewellery in Australia? 30/04/10    Queensland, Australia

Hi there,

May I know what is the max acceptable lead content in adult's fashion jewellery (the standard which comply with the Australian safety standard if there is one)?

Thanks.

Regards, Tina

ANSWER: May  2 2010

Hi Tina,

Any amount of lead is permitted in adult's fashion jewellery in Australia - there is no standard and therefore no limit. It is legal therefore to sell jewellery with up to 100% lead in it. This is not to say that it would be WISE of anyone to sell adult's fashion jewellery in Australia with lead in it. Since such an item killed a child who swallowed it (a heart-shaped charm) in the United States, in my opinion, selling leaded adult's fashion jewellery in Australia is tempting fate. Following the death, wisely, the US government instituted the largest consumer product recall (150 million items) ever undertaken in the world, but unwisely, our government, as far as I'm aware, made no effort to even test adult's fashion jewellery or children's fashion jewellery for that matter. The only type of jewellery for which heavy metal content is restricted in Australia is children's toy jewellery, which must comply with the toy standard for 8 heavy metals including lead (ie contain less than 90 parts per million leachable lead), as of 1/1/10.

All the best

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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