Dress-up is always a hit with kids, and jewelry is an important part of the deal. But recent lab tests of children’s jewelry sold in the United States (even by the biggest names in children’s entertainment) have been found to contain dangerously high levels of lead. In one test, lead levels were 380,000 parts per million – about 600 times the allowable levels. Lead is a potent neurotoxin, and exposure to lead during periods of brain development can result in significant and permanent deficits. Many manufacturers have voluntarily recalled their merchandise, but tainted jewelry remains on store shelves, and millions of pieces are already in homes and apartments across the country. Be wary of products that say “lead free” as they may contain cadmium, another toxic and harmful heavy metal.