What is nickel free jewelry? What exactly does that mean? Unfortunately, in the United States this term means almost nothing. You can legally attach the terms nickel free jewelry and hypoallergenic earrings to earrings made of any metal, regardless of nickel content.
People in the United States who suffer with nickel allergy, or nickel sensitivity, are unable to find a solution to their problem, or relief from their symptoms, by buying "nickel free jewelry". Unfortunately these terms, nickel free jewelry and hypoallergenic jewelry, are most often used to describe the least expensive costume jewelry on the market or in the store. We have found earrings being sold for 5 pairs for ten dollars being marketed as nickel free hypoallergenic earrings. They are a bargain for sure, but safe for sensitive skin they are not. They are made from various base metals, all of which contain high percentages of nickel. Indeed it was only recently that the US trade laws demanded that jewelry sod in the United States be lead free. Imagine that - as little as 5 years ago, nickel free jewelry could legally contain not just nickel, but lead as well. It is nice that the lead has been eliminated but nickel free earrings can still contain unlimited amounts of nickel!
This situation is handled differently in the European Union. The EU Nickel Directive, which dictates the amount of nickel that can be contained in ear piercing studs, earrings, and non-earring jewelry, was initiated in 1994, shortly after the EU was formed. It has been amended several times, most recently in 2009. Each amendment has further reduced the allowable nickel content in jewelry. Originally ear piercing posts had to contain less than .05% nickel. The EU now measures nickel migration, a complex measure of how much nickel is absorbed into the body over time. This measurement results in even less nickel content.
The bottom line is that Europeans are provided protection against contracting nickel allergy to begin with; whereas Americans are left completely in the dark on how to protect themselves from this common allergy. 3 - 4 % of the population is born with a nickel sensitivity. After just one ear piercing that figure jumps to over 20%. Ear piercing causes nickel allergy. There is no longer any doubt that this is the root cause of this sensitivity.
Blomdahl ear piercing studs exceed all EU Nickel Directive requirements in terms of safety and nickel content. Blomdahl uses two materials for their ear piercing studs. Medical-grade plastic earrings, the world's only 0% nickel ear piercing stud, and medical grade titanium. Medical grade titanium is deemed safe to use INSIDE the human body. Medical grade titanium is pure, homogenous titanium and it greatly exceeds all EU requirements.
Until the American Congress institutes the protections that Europeans enjoy against nickel allergy, the only way for American's to avoid the high risks associated with piercing with non-safe ear piercing studs is to choose Blomdahl.