Hipsters beware: That naval piercing or nose ring may be hazardous to your health.
In rare cases, seizures, organ failure and even death can occur.
That’s the message from the California Department of Toxic Substance Control, which is enforcing a new state law that regulates lead in jewelry, especially piercing jewelry.
That law went into effect March 1.
“Body piercings may be particularly vulnerable to poisoning since lead can enter the bloodstream through the pierced areas,” Maureen Gorsen, director of California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, said in a written statement.
To get the point across, officials from the department were in Berkeley on Thursday at Zebra Tattoo & Body Piercing shop to spread the word that jewelry must have less than 10 percent lead as of March 1 and less than 6 percent by Aug. 30, 2009.
If they violate the new law, they can face fines of up to $2,500 a day for each piece in their possession.
Kerrie Naslund, 34, a senior piercer at Zebra for 16 years, said she is confident her shop is lead-free because it gets most of its jewelry from American manufacturers who provide certificates showing the metals in piercing jewelry they buy.