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).
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):