Health Department cites Five Below for selling children's jewelry with excess lead

A Baltimore Five Below store was cited last week for selling children’s jewelry with excess lead, the Baltimore City Department of Health said.

The Health Department issued a violation notice to the Five Below in Canton. A set of six pairs of earrings on sale for $3 at Five Below was found to have lead levels in excess of 100 parts per million.

Monday @ 6: Hear from Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen on the hazards of lead poisoning.

The Health Department originally cited Target for selling a $6 Hello Kitty necklace it said contained high levels of lead. Department spokesman Michael Schwartzberg said Monday a mistake was made by the staff member reading the lab analysis of the report, and that item was not in violation. 

Exposure to even low doses of lead has been linked to lower IQ scores, school failure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and deficits in vocabulary, fine motor skills, reaction time and hand-eye coordination, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The item was purchased from the store last month and sent to an independent laboratory for testing, the Health Department said. City health inspectors often purchase jewelry items designed for children and send them for laboratory testing to check lead content.

Since Health Department inspectors began random lead testing of children’s jewelry products sold at city stores in 2007, nearly 350 items have been tested for lead and nearly 50 violation notices have been issued, the department said.

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.