Monday, May 2, 2011

Vicious Vintage

Vintage is officially the latest trend in fashion. People throw the word around in every possible context. There are countless blogs (including two I read on the daily) devoted to documenting throwback styles in new clothes as well as thrift store finds. Goodwill went from someplace little kids were ashamed to buy clothes to a trendy place to shop. Everything old is new. And I'm not mad about it. The pin-up silhouette of nipped waists and full skirts flatters my figure, and you can't beat a unique brooch to add a little pizzazz to an otherwise Meh ensemble.

Yet, buyer beware. If your yen for the retro feel includes actual old stuff made of metal (think antique-y bracelets, jewelry, toys or kitchenware), this little hobby could be putting your health in jeopardy. Women's Health's May 2011 issue reported on a study from the Journal of Environmental Health that found high concentrations of lead in all except one vintage item. Some of the 28 items tested had as much as 700 times the amount of lead deemed safe by the government. Lead is a dangerous heavy metal, that can cause nervous system, heart and kidney damage, fertility problems, and death in high doses. There's a reason they banned it as an ingredient in paint ladies and gents.

But don't despair. You don't need to abandon your love of everything old school yet. Just make sure to test the lead content of those earrings you've had your eye on before you buy. Home Depot sells an instant swab test that detects the presence of lead for $25.  That will run you a whole lot less than the hospital bills you'd incur from some good old fashioned lead poisoning


Miss_Scarlett said...

wow thanks for the warning, i had no idea of that!

Janice said...

No problem! It was news to me too!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, this just sent me into a tailspin of despair! I am OBSESSED with vintage costume jewelry. I might have to pick up that test - sad news.


Janice said...

Laura! I thought of you and your health when I read the article. Get the test!


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