10/23/2013 - The European Union Directive
You wear your new earrings for a few days and suddenly realize your earlobes are on fire. Itchy, burning and red. Nickel allergy has struck again. Zippers, belt buckles, jewelry, snaps, and possibly even food. You have nickel allergy and all these items are suspect. But would it surprise you to know that in some countries you wouldn’t have to worry about these things? The European Union Nickel Directive was put in place all the way back in 1996. It regulated the amount of nickel allowed to be used in any product that comes in prolonged contact with skin. If you buy a piece of jewelry in Europe, you won’t have to worry if it contains any nickel or triggering a nickel allergy.
So why doesn’t the United States have any such nickel free regulation? It is most likely due to lobbying, and the fact that the needs of the few do not out-weigh the needs of the many. Nickel is great at making products corrosion resistant, durable and shiny. That means it has a high value in industry that out-weighs its negatives. Only through activism can this be turned around. Contact your local congressional and senate representatives. They all have easy to navigate websites where you can send an email, letting them know how you feel. Let them know this is important. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. To find your Congressional representative use this website:
To find your senatorial representative go here:
Together we can bring attention to nickel allergy and the need for some sort of regulation. 10% to 15% of the population suffers from nickel allergy, and this figure is climbing. It is one of the top five allergens effecting people, and voted Allergen of the Year in 2008 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Please, until then, buy a nickel free belt or nickel free belt buckle from us. But we do look forward to the day when we are out of business because we are no longer needed.
10/08/2013 - Nickel Allergy prevents Cancer?
It may seem far-fetched, but a study by Danish scientists has come to this puzzling conclusion! From 1984 to 2008 over 17,000 people took part in an extensive study. All 17,000 participants had tested positive for skin contact allergies, a requirement for the study. When comparing the health records of the study group to that of the general population, it was discovered that the study group had a lower incidence of breast cancer, certain non-melanoma cancers, and lower rates of brain cancer in women. While the findings are still being studied, and it is too early to jump to conclusions, the thinking is that hyper-sensitive immune systems, like those of nickel allergy sufferers, attacks and kills rogue cells more efficiently. So next time you develop a rash on your belly, go out and buy a nickel free belt, and rest easier knowing your body is just telling you it is hard at work protecting you!
09/12/2013 - Simple Test for Nickel Allergy.
Many people suspect they might be allergic to nickel, but have never bothered to take a test for it. The slog down to the doctor’s office, the paper-work, and the return trip to have the results read is a hassle. But there is a very simple nickel allergy test you can take at home, right now, and from things you already have in the house.
First, you need a U.S. five cent piece. Any nickel minted since 1946 is made from an alloy that contains 25% nickel. Go to your loose change drawer and pick one out, but wash the coin thoroughly. You want to be sure the coin free from other contaminates you might be allergic to. Then, simply take a couple of Band-Aids and tape it to your inner forearm, leaving it on for 24 hours (unless you notice a reaction starting sooner). If you do have nickel allergy, you will react within a day. Usually you will notice a raised, red, itchy rash. Apply Neosporin, or other topical cream, as soon as you confirm a reaction.
There you have it, a simple, do-it-yourself nickel allergy test. If you find you have a positive reaction you will need to make some lifestyle adjustments. Make sure you buy nickel free belts, nickel free jewelry, and other nickel allergy free items. Remember, anything that is metal, and could come in contact with your skin, could contain nickel and cause an allergic reaction. Knowing you have nickel allergy is only the first step to a nickel free lifestyle!