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RAPEX, the EU Rapid alert system for dangerous non-food consumer products, has recently revealed a number of jewellery items that were withdrawn from the EU marketplace and in one particular case recalled from end users as they did not comply with the Reach Regulations concerning Nickel Release and Lead and Cadmium content.

Items withdrawn over the last month include earrings, necklaces and hair accessories. Three items withdrawn contained Cadmium and Lead in excess of over 1570 x the legal limit.

AnchorCert Analytical can help ensure that you are compliant with the EU Reach Regulations offering unique UKAS Accredited Quick Nickel, Lead and Cadmium tests as well as UKAS accredited Full Nickel, Lead and Cadmium tests to check if items comply with the Reach Regulations.

The turnaround time for the Quick Nickel, Lead and Cadmium service is just 5 working days.

To download a testing application form please click here.

 

Nickel and the Reach Regulations

All items which are to be sold in the EU which are intended to come into prolonged and direct contact with the skin must comply with Nickel legislation and not release Nickel above the permitted levels.

Compliance is particularly important for items intended to be inserted into body piercings as items will penetrate  the skin and so nickel is more likely to leach into the body. This can cause irreversible Nickel sensitisation. Permitted limits for such items are extremely low.                                                               

Nickel legislation applies to all items which are intended to come into prolonged and direct contact with the skin. The specific products cited in the EU regulations include: earrings, necklaces, bracelets, chains, anklets and finger rings, wrist-watch cases, watch straps and tighteners, rivet buttons, tighteners, rivets, zippers and metal marks, contained in or intended to be used in garments.

This list is not exhaustive and suppliers should consider all items such as buckles for shoes and belts, handbag straps and handles, hair clips, ear pieces etc and assess whether or not the item, or any part of it will be in prolonged and direct contact with the skin during its normal, intended use.

 

Lead and Cadmium and the Reach Regulations

Lead is a metal which is toxic at very low levels of exposure. It accumulates in the body, so that regular exposure to even very low quantities may result in harmful levels which can badly damage intellectual and behavioural development of infants and young children. Lead content in jewellery has been restricted by the REACH Regulations.  Cadmium is also a toxic metal. It is potentially a very harmful element and needs to be controlled in industrial applications. The use of cadmium in metal jewellery products, plastics and paint is restricted by the REACH Regulations. AnchorCert Analytical offers a UKAS accredited Full Lead and Cadmium Content test and a UKAS Accredited Quick Lead and Cadmium content test to check that articles comply with Reach regulations. Testing for both chemicals at the same time rather than separately saves the customer time, samples and money.

 

For more information on the Reach Regulations or to enquire about Nickel, Lead and Cadmium testing or any other testing services contact AnchorCert Analytical on +44 (0)121 262 1017 or email testing@theassayoffice.co.uk

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