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Title: Toxic Jewelry: An investigation of lead in imitation jewelry in Nepal
Authors: Sah, Ram Charitra
Citation: Sah, Ram Charitra. 2012. Toxic Jewelry, An Investigation of Lead in Imitation Jewelry in Nepal
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED)
Keywords: Toxic Jewelry: An investigation of lead in imitation jewelry in Nepal
Abstract: Executive Summary: Jewelries have been a part of the daily wear from the ancient history. Jewelry is a personal adornment that people used from the early time to compliment themselves. The forms and design of the jewelries have been changed according to security situation, time and taste of the people. The literature shows that the history of jewelry begins from Africa. Even Asian countries also have long history of using jewelry. With the time the materials from which jewelry are made have also changed. There is evidence that jewelry used to be made from animals bones, shells etc. to the precious metals like gold, silver, copper and now even from the non precious materials like plastic, clay etc. This imitation jewelry is also equally popular among consumer. But the harmful side of these kinds of jewelries is that they are heavily contaminated with lead. Lead is the toxic heavy metal that causes severe health problems and even causes death on long term exposure. The study is carried out by Center for Public Health and Environment Development (CEPHED) in Nepal to know the existing scenario of lead contamination in imitation/artificial jewelry. During the study, the imitation jewelry from the market was collected, coded and sent for test at Nepal Environmental and Scientific Services (P) Ltd. (NESS) for the lead content in imitation jewelry with the help of Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) method. The result shows that in total sample, 53.33% (8 out of 15 samples) of samples exceed the lead level of US permissible limit in children’s jewelry of 300 ppm. Lead content in the tested artificial jewelry ranges minimum from 28 ppm to maximum of 775500 ppm which is 2585 times higher than US standard for lead in children jewelry. The average lead content of all Jewelry is 198729.6 ppm which is about 662 times more than the US standard for lead in children of 300 ppm. Shocking thing is that more than 26.67%( 4 out of 15) of the tested jewelries have more than 50% of their weight made up by lead composition. The bangle contain least lead, neck chain contain high lead, finger rings contain higher lead and ear rings contain highest lead content. The reason behind this uncontrolled and alarming level of lead content in such products in Nepal is mainly due to the lack of standard, guidelines and regulation. So, it is recommended that there should be separate monitoring body to develop the standard and enact it. At the same time, the laboratory with facility to check the heavy metal contamination in various products should also be established.
Appears in Collections:Post Graduate Grant (PG) Reports

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