Reports from the environmental safety organisation, The Ecology Centre, suggest that there are high levels of toxic chemicals in jewellery taken from branches of Claire's, Forever 21, H&M and other retail outlets. Chemicals included lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury and arsenic.
"The public should not be too frightened at this stage," Doctor A Sinnick said, adding, "but it's very useful to know this."
Interested to know why Doctor Sinnick seemed so unconcerned when our entire world (women's magazines) were in total panic in case valuable advertising revenue was at risk, we asked Doctor Sinnick for his further advice. We are so glad we did.
"Well," he said, "it will be useful for people like me who find the constant giving of gifts a monotonous chore. For instance, you can now state with much scientific evidence that the new set of saucepans you gave your wife for her birthday was not only of far more use than the fancy necklace she had wanted but far less toxic as well."
Doctor Sinnick then went on to suggest that the scare was merely the latest devious tactic from elements of the criminal fraternity engaged in metal theft and suggested we speak to a patient of his, Paddy, who works for the Irish Recycling Association.
We visited Paddy at his laboratory at 'Travellers Camp' on the green outskirts of Krupton and over a Guinness we asked him about the reports.
"Ah yes, indeed," Paddy said, "I found all these dreadful chemicals in over half of the 99 items of jewellery I tested in the caravan."
Tests on Paddy's pregnant rottweiller bitch, Polly, apparently showed evidence of all these toxins. The bitch had slavered and dribbled and then bit his arm as he tried to add more fragments of waste lead piping to the dog's dinner. "And I only used a minute amount of lead as it is far too valuable to waste," Paddy said. "But this proves, beyond a shadow of doubt that lead is terrible toxic."
The police are now advising trash dealers to watch out for men with ear-rings and medallions offering buckets full of wedding rings, bracelets and necklaces for melting down.
Doctor Sinnick's advice to manufacturers of jewellery (especially French ones) is that they provide a full chemical analysis (as a chromatographic print-out) in each fancy presentation box.