High doses of lead have been found in jewellery sold on the Swedish market. While other countries have imposed restrictions on lead content in jewellery, Sweden has decided to wait for EU legislation to be implemented around 2012. Until then, Swedish consumers are left to decide for themselves what jewellery is safe to buy.
Earlier this summer the Swedish Chemicals Agency tested jewellery sold on the Swedish market and found that some of it had up to 27 percent lead.
One of the agency's principal advisers on hazard and risk analysis points out the adverse health effects of lead.
Lead is used in cheap jewellery to make it feel more authentic by making it heavier.
In a 2007 report, the Swedish Chemicals Agency revealed that large quantities of cheap jewellery with high doses of lead mostly came from China and India.
But for now, without any set regulations, Swedish companies can still sell jewellery with dangerous levels of lead in them. And consumers are left with little protection.
[Consumer] Swedish, Female:
"I have holes in my ears so I just buy genuine things. I don´t want to get allergies and other things."
Three years ago the retailer Indiska officially promised they would only import goods containing less than 0.03 percent lead. But recently Indiska was found to be the same company that sold jewellery containing 27 percent of lead in it.
[Rose-Marie Latif, Product Manager, Indiska] English, Female:
"We are trying our best to test our jewelleries for nickel as well as lead. The customer cannot know 100%, nothing is 100% sure. If someone is very worried he can turn to us and we can check up an extra time if this jewellery really is lead free."
The EU-legislation for limiting lead in jewellery may be implemented at the earliest in 2012. Until then, it´s up to the Swedish consumers to protect themselves, and their kids, from lead poisoning.
NTD, Stockholm, Sweden