The Checkup: Is Your Jewelry Toxic?

An analysis by an environmental group found that some cheap jewelry contains high levels of lead and other toxins.

• As I type this, I am wearing a pair of fake-gold studs that I purchased from H&M for $5 just a week ago. Strike that—I paid $5 for a variety pack of approximately 10 pairs of crappy earrings, which means this pair cost me all of 50 cents. Now I’m being told that these very same earrings might be hazardous to my health. TIME reports on an analysis of cheap jewelry from the nonprofit environmental group, which found that “59 percent of low-cost jewelry sold at stores like Walmart, Kohl’s, Forever 21, H&M, Hot Topic and Target, contained one or more chemicals considered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be a hazard to human health at high levels.” (I added the bold there to underscore my current sense of terror.) (Also, Hot Topic? That place still exists?) The toxic chemicals discovered in the jewelry include lead, arsenic, and something called cadmium, which can hurt the liver. Sigh. I think I can feel my earlobes throbbing.

• Remember how yesterday I told you that red meat could shorten your lifespan? Good news! Lifespans in general are up—well, compared to 1935, anyway.

• The world’s tallest man may have finally stopped growing, thanks to a treatment by researchers at the University of Virginia Medical Center. My guess is that everyone except the man’s tailor is excited about this.