Why is it Harmful to have Cadmium and Nickel in Silver Jewellery?

Silver has always been a popular material for jewellery due to its shine, durability, and versatility. Silver jewellery can start from composition of 30% silver + 70% other metals / alloys.

100% Pure silver, however, is extremely soft and not suitable for making ornaments; hence upto 7.5% of other metals / alloys are added to it for giving it necessary strength.

92.5% pure silver, also commonly known as sterling silver or simply pure silver, is accepted as the norm worldwide when we refer to base material for pure silver jewellery.

Many pieces of silver jewellery contain traces of metals such as cadmium and nickel, which can have harmful effects on the wearer's health.

In this blog, we will explore why it is harmful to have cadmium and nickel in silver jewellery.

What is Cadmium? Why is it harmful?
Cadmium, or sometimes referred as KDM, is often used in the manufacture of silver jewellery because it can improve the metal's strength and durability. However, cadmium is a highly toxic metal that can cause serious health problems if ingested or inhaled. It is also used in the manufacture of batteries, metal plating, and some types of jewellery.  

When cadmium is used in silver jewellery, it can leach into the skin and cause skin irritation, redness, and rashes. Prolonged exposure to cadmium can also cause kidney damage, lung damage, and an increased risk of cancer.

What is Nickel? Why is it harmful?
Nickel is a common metal used in silver jewellery because it can improve the metal's strength and durability. Nickel is also used in manufacturing of coins, electronic devices. It is a hard, silvery-white metal that is highly resistant to corrosion. However, nickel is also a highly allergenic metal that can cause a range of health problems such as severe skin irritation, itching, redness, swelling, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems. In some cases, exposure to nickel can even cause a type of eczema known as Nickel Dermatitis. 

Cadmium and Nickel are both cumulative toxins, which means that exposure to small amounts over a long period of time can cause health problems. This is especially concerning for people who wear silver jewellery regularly, as they may be exposed to Cadmium and/or Nickel on a daily basis.

How to avoid Cadmium and Nickel in silver jewellery?
If you want to avoid cadmium and nickel in your silver jewellery, there are a few things you can do: 

  • Look for jewellery that is labelled "Nickel-free" or "Cadmium-free": This means that the jewellery has been manufactured without the use of these harmful metals.
  • Buy jewellery from reputable sources: Many jewellery manufacturers have strict quality control processes in place to ensure that their products are safe for consumers. Look for jewellery from well-known brands or companies that have a good reputation for quality instead of falling for roadside shops which would lure you with deep discounts
  • Avoid cheap jewellery: Cheap jewellery is often made with low-quality materials and is almost certain to contain harmful metals like Cadmium and Nickel. Invest in higher-quality jewellery that is made with safe materials.

While Cadmium and Nickel may improve the strength and durability of silver jewellery, the risks of using these metals far outweigh any potential benefits. Therefore, it is important to take steps to avoid Cadmium and Nickel in silver jewellery in order to protect your health. 

By following the tips outlined above, you can reduce your exposure to Cadmium and Nickel in silver jewellery and minimize your risk of developing health problems. Whether you choose to buy jewellery that is labelled "Nickel-free" or "Cadmium-free", or you opt for alternative materials like Gold or Platinum, it is important to prioritize your health and safety when it comes to choosing and wearing jewellery.

Ultimately, the decision to avoid Cadmium and Nickel in silver jewellery is a personal one that depends on your individual preferences and needs. However, by understanding the risks of these metals and taking steps to avoid them, you can make informed choices about the jewellery you wear and protect your health in the process. It is important that we buy any jewellery creations that are safe to use.

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