Published: January 7, 2020
Introduction (for those new to this website):
Tamara Rubin is an independent advocate for consumer goods safety. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children. She began testing consumer goods for toxicants in 2009 and was the parent-advocate responsible for finding Lead in the popular fidget spinner toys in 2017. Tamara uses XRF testing (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants, including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Arsenic.
When tested with an XRF instrument, the Paparazzi brand ring pictured here had the following readings:
Metal articulating band:
- Cadmium (Cd): 11,100 +/- 200 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 317 +/- 129 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 724 +/- 64 ppm
- Selenium (Se): 45 +/- 16 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 412 +/- 22 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 336 +/- 32 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 63,100 +/- 1,100 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 33 +/- 19 ppm [very low / negligible]
- Titanium (Ti): 1,513 +/- 268 ppm
Metal surround of stone:
- Cadmium (Cd): 265,300 +/- 1,800 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 2,340 +/- 965 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 6,325 +/- 581 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 719,700 +/- 2,000 ppm
- Silver (Ag): 5,128 +/- 305 ppm
[I expect this is some kind of manufactured stone (resin?)]
- Cadmium (Cd): 1114 +/- 55 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 28,200 +/- 1,600 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 114 +/- 29 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 10 +/- 4 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 110 +/- 38 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 2,125 +/- 165 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,130 +/- 261 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 7,582 +/- 374 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 15,400 +/- 800 ppm
Wow! It’s super-exciting (and really rare!) to find a company that advertises their products to be Lead-free — and have them turn out to ACTUALLY be truly Lead-free when tested with an XRF instrument! What a great model for a company! BUT — OMG, that amount of Cadmium is horrific! I am so sad that this turned out to be “too good to be true”… I am going to share this information with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to see if they want to take any action against the company (like force them to do additional testing and issue a formal [or voluntary] recall of any super-high-level Cadmium-containing products.)
Cadmium (even in trace amounts) is well-documented as a known carcinogen. Said another way, “Cadmium causes cancer”. While not yet Federally regulated in consumer products across the board in the U.S.(!), several States have stepped forward to regulate the use of this highly-toxic metal in items intended for use by children.The State of Washington legally limits Cadmium items “intended for use by children” to levels at or below 40 ppm. In other States, Jewelry standards limiting Cadmium in generally fall in the 75 to 300 ppm range (as the maximum allowable amount of Cadmium in any of these regulatory statutes).
New laws on Cadmium limits in California go in to effect this month (January, 2020).
Moreover, as of January, 2020 one State (California) has finally begun to regulate Cadmium content in all jewelry — including items manufactured & marketed for adults. [As I said, that law just went into effect; I will update this post to include the specifics as soon as I have them.]
Because, here’s the thing: let’s get real — who says that a mother might not ever give something like this to their child to wear or play with? And this ring is just the sort of thing a wearer might easily fidget with, and as it wears over time (even if it is silver-plated), the Cadmium is likely to wear/transfer onto the users skin. I am quite concerned about this piece (and what this says for the Paparazzi brand in general.)
I have a few more Paparazzi pieces that I will be testing, so stay tuned for those. As a result of these findings, I would never want anyone I know to wear this jewelry. If you have any pieces from this brand, I would definitely set them aside (in a plastic baggie, separate from your other jewelry) until we have more information about this brand and the different types of pieces they produce. To read more about Cadmium toxicity, click here.
Some additional reading that may be of interest:
- To see more costume jewelry I have tested, click here.
- To see my recommendations for choosing safer jewelry, click here.
- To see more rings I have tested, click here.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!
Thank you for reading and for sharing my work!
A screenshot from the Paparazzi website (12/25/2019):
What is the PPM? Is that parts per million? How big was that part? What is that number in Milligrams? Do you have this information from the study? I really am concerned for myself
Where’s the study material? What company did you send it to for testing? Are you aware that humans absorb cadmium through ingesting per the WHO? Also are you aware that the Major route of exposure is through inhalation of dust and fumes or incidental ingestion from contaminated hands, food, or cigarettes?
That’s exactly the concern – that the contamination from a ring like this can wear off on to the hands. The post you commented on is the “study.” You can read more about the testing reported on this blog by clicking this link: https://tamararubin.com/2016/12/ask-tamara-what-do-you-use-to-test-for-lead/
Thank you for commenting.
Rachel Donaldson says
Thank you Tamara I’m not gonna take chances on my health. Working in laboratories for over 20 years, I understand your findings. I’m saddened that I wasted so much money
on this jewelry.I will be bagging it all up in plastic.
Angela Carr says
Did you hear back from the consumer products folks?
No – we did not.
Cherish L Brown says
Tamara thank you for testing this. I have a ton of paparazzi jewelry, will you please keep me updated on any other items that you find, bracelets, earrings, necklaces
Please keep testing these item…have had several family member die from cancer…why no recall?
Florence G. says
I was planning on being a Paparazzi consultant but reading this article is giving me second thoughts.
Jenn Pankratz says
I have quite a few pieces of Paparazzi jewelry and this really concerns me. Please keep us posted on any new findings you have. Greatly appreciated.
Rosetta Knox says
Did the company get back to you about the results? I just recently started buying Paparazzi jewelry and am now concerned. Also the consultant sold me “kids” earrings (literally she said they were for kids!) but on the back of the earrings it says that it’s not for anyone under 14 yrs old! My daughter is 4! I’m so shocked! I let her wear them today too because I hadn’t noticed it first! I’m horrified! Also have you tested any jewelry from Claire’s? I’d be really interested in those results too.
No – they never did! I would love to test those earrings! Claire’s has a bad track-record/ history too – but I believe they cleaned things up over the years.
Sheryl1 Patton says
Omg!! I have spent so much money on this jewelry. I’m not sure what to do with it?
Read this for some ideas: https://tamararubin.com/2019/12/what-should-i-do-with-my-lead-contaminated-dishes-to-toss-or-not-to-toss/
Omg these are from 2020 is this all still real I have spent an embarrassing amount of money on this stuff!
Yes – this is real.
Can we test our jewelry somehow?
Ms lilly says
I have tons of this jewelry sitting in my dining room…spent ALOT OF MONEY…..yess hanging on peg boards etc…im a former consultant as well…and just as shocked and speechless as you are….I do not know what to do at this point!!…suggestions please?
Susan Tripp says
Hello – I just sent 10 pieces of jewelry off to a company I found on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. I just got the testing back yesterday on the jewelry and they said none of these pieces of jewelry failed. I’m a bit confused and shocked by this. I’m not sure if they didn’t test properly or I’m being taken for money. What do you suggest?
Same here!!! Where did you get these results???? I would be half tempted to retest the same ring at my choice of lab now and pist the original psper if findings. This dont sound right.
I do the testing myself. I have the scientific instrumentation and am trained and certified in doing this type of testing. This is not something you can do yourself at home. Details are on this post:
Christy F says
Would love to know about paparazzi earring safety JUST started buying paparazzi!!
In particular if contains cadmium
Please look through these posts: