Who can resist buying cheap but cute necklaces and colorful bracelets? But while they might make our outfits look better for a very low price, but it turns out these pieces of crappy jewelry might also be poisoning us in the process. And that's a pretty high price to pay in the long run.

This revelation comes from a non-profit organization called The Ecology Center. They conducted tests on 99 pieces of jewelry that were purchased from 14 different discount US stores, and ran tests for haphazard materials: lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, mercury and arsenic.

What they discovered was that over half of the jewelry had high levels of these hazardous chemicals: 27 of the pieces which had lead levels which exceeded the 300 ppm limit for children's products; 90% of the pieces had chromium and nickel, which can cause allergic reactions; 10% of the pieces had cadmium, which is a toxic metal that's been the subject of other jewelry and toy recalls. And then there's also the problem of the brominated flame retardants (a well-known hormone disrupter compound, yikes!) which are usually sprayed onto jewelry and can rub off onto your skin or be inhaled.

Of course, wearing this contaminated jewelry is far less dangerous than eating it. But reason why it's so cheap in the first place is that they break and chip easily, so there's no guarantee you won't end up accidentally ingesting bits of it that rub on your hands. In any case, it's better to be safe and sorry. And just save up more for the real bling!

via CBS News