A letter to Beyonce (& Jay Z.)
December 14, 2021 – Tuesday
Hello Jay Z and @Beyonce!
I noticed (back in August of this year) that you have a new promotional relationship with Tiffany & Co.!
I used to LOVE Tiffany & Co. — in fact, when I lived in New York City (in the late-1980s) I used to take every opportunity to go window-shopping there whenever I was in the neighborhood! I also registered there for my first wedding (with my ex-husband), and for a very long time [until my children were Lead-poisoned] I truly cherished all of the gifts my friends and family bought me from my wedding registry.
My appreciation of Tiffany & Co. (for the quality of their products and the beauty of their designs) came from my mother (an artist/ sculptor/ ceramicist) – who even purchased her wedding band there when she remarried in 1996.
After my children were Lead-poisoned, when I subsequently started using XRF technology to test consumer goods for Lead and other heavy metals, my perception of Tiffany & Co. shifted drastically (180 degrees!)… I remember the exact moment this happened: it was when I went to a friend’s house, and tested her children’s Tiffany’s piggy bank — and found it to be positive for very high levels of Lead in the glaze! When I followed up with Tiffany & Co. about this, their response to my inquiry at the time [you can read more about that on this link] was that their piggy banks were “not intended for use by children” and so were “exempt from the new CPSC regulatory standards, and limits for Lead in the glaze of items intended for use by children.” I was outraged that this would be their attitude.
Tiffany & Co. heard me, but didn’t take the high road in response…
I do know they ultimately felt pressure to act in response to my findings — because, years later, when I tested newer versions of the same Tiffany & Co. ceramic piggy bank, their updated versions of this product were Lead-free.
However…they made this change quietly – without fanfare. I am also fairly certain they did nothing to alert the previous buyers of all the Leaded piggy banks they (knowingly) sold for years that these products had unsafe levels of Lead and should not be used by children. There should have been a press release, or an e-mail sent to customers, or a statement on their website. There was nothing. These piggy banks cost $225! The customers have a right to know they are toxic and Tiffany did nothing to repair their past actions. This was the “nail in the coffin” for me, that permanently shifted my perception of the company [I even gave away a small silver Tiffany necklace I owned, because I no longer wanted anything to do with them!]
Fast forward to Tiffany & Company today… 2021
- Did you know that right now [December 14, 2021], Tiffany & Co. still designs and manufactures many products that – completely unnecessarily – use large quantities of extremely neurotoxic Lead?!
- Did you know that all public agencies agree that there is no safe level of Lead exposure for humans?
- Did you know that even very low levels of Lead exposure in our environment have been confirmed to cause a growing list of common long-term health impairments [many of which have long-been known or suspected, but others of which had previously been long-categorized as mysterious or unknown in origin]— ranging from loss of I.Q. and “executive function” impacts to permanent significant brain injury / learning disabilities (like my sons have – [similar in presentation to – and often misdiagnosed as – Autism]); an increased risk of heart disease; of kidney disease; damage to the immune system; birth complications and fertility issues; male impotence; early-onset dementia; osteoporosis and joint deterioration; major digestive disorders — just to list a few?
What can be done about this?
One way to tackle the enormous Lead problem on planet earth is to convince companies (like Tiffany & Co.) to stop designing, manufacturing and selling products containing Lead [and the other super-toxic heavy metals, including Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic & Antimony].
- When companies take this bold stand, they are making a commitment to the long-term health and well-being of both our species and our planet — by no longer contributing to the demand for the mining, refining, and processing of Lead for use with consumer goods.
- Mining, refining, and processing of Lead pollutes our air, water, and soil; anything we can do to put a stop to the demand for Lead has the potential to make a long-term significant positive impact for all of us here on planet earth (and most important: for our children, and grandchildren — for all future generations!)
#Bonus! When the companies that take a stand on these important issues are industry leaders (like Tiffany & Co.), other purveyors of consumer products (like jewelry, dishware, and glassware; etc.) — many with huge sales volume and global supply chains (like Target, Walmart, Pottery Barn, Sur La Table and others) are likely to follow their example and make similar changes – taking a stand to remove Lead from their products, as well. This is the opportunity you (and Tiffany & Co) have to change the world for the better!…
YOU have the power to make a huge difference right now in this area, Beyonce!
With your current affiliation with @tiffanyandco, perhaps you could make a formal (yet simple) request that (in order to maintain their affiliation with you) Tiffany & Co. needs to stop using toxic Lead in their products (and – even better – perhaps you can even get them to publicly take responsibility for [and make a public statement about] the Lead they used in past products – especially the Lead they used in children’s items – like piggy banks, and Leaded china sets for babies – that are still in use by families today).
We need to follow the examples set by the younger generation in these efforts
I saw the difference Billie Eilish made with her simple – yet very specific – demand that Oscar de la Renta go fur free… and I know that a similar request from you to Tiffany & Co. (that they “go Lead-free“) would carry even greater weight — which might be required in this conversation, given Tiffany & Co. has been using Lead in their products forever, and their Leaded products are still a big part of their revenue stream. The fact of the matter is there are non-toxic alternatives for every application that Tiffany & Co. uses Lead for… so in the end, it is truly a simple request (especially since an action like this has the potential to elevate Tiffany & Co. to the status of being a leader in environmental corporate responsibility and stewardship of the planet).
Thanks in advance for considering it.
If you want talk more about the issue (and the opportunity for you to use your connection with Tiffany & Co. to work with them to help change the industry for the better – protecting future generations of families, as well as helping to protect and preserve our planet & keeping it safer for human habitation (leading by example, removing Lead and other toxic heavy metals from their products, ands thereby reducing the demand for Lead, and the mining and refining of Lead, and other toxic heavy metals)), please contact me [text is best: 415-609-3182, perhaps we could meet for coffee next time I am in Los Angeles?]
Owner, Lead Safe Mama, LLC
Mother of Lead Poisoned Children
Some links that may be of interest
- Below is a link to the piece I wrote last December (2020) about 47 high-Lead-containing products currently manufactured and sold by Tiffany & Co.
- I understand Jay Z has performed with Jon Fishman (drummer of @Phish) before – so if he wants to learn more about the issue of Lead exposure from Jon’s perspective — as another parent of a Lead-exposed child, Jay could call Jon to chat about the issue – or Jay may want check out my three-part interview from December 2020 with Jon on the Lead Safe Mama YouTube Channel. https://youtu.be/qq5b3Wyd44Q
- Separately, Jon Fishman helped with the production of my documentary feature film on the subject [MisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic]- which (if you take the time to watch it) might give you a better sense of the broader issue, and specific impacts of Lead-poisoning (here’s a private preview screener link to the current cut of the film — which includes music donated by The Who, and Tom Waits (among others), and is in post-production: https://vimeo.com/156169133/7915741044)