Walmart, the nation’s top retailer, announced on September 17, 2013 that it plans to phase out ten harmful chemicals from household cleaning, personal care, and beauty and cosmetic products by 2015. Bowing to pressure from health and environmental groups, and following the lead of other manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble, Walmart is receiving much praise for this announcement. But testing of Walmart jewelry products, which took place only 12 days before Walmart’s announcement, reveals that Walmart is selling products with extremely high levels of lead, known to be toxic to the developing brain .
The recent testing of Walmart jewelry products was carried out by Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC). WTC purchased 34 jewelry products identified as “Distributed by Wal-mart Stores, Inc.” in August of 2013 at the Lynnwood, Washington Walmart store. A variety of items such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets were chosen. This jewelry was analyzed for heavy metals using an XRF analyzer.