A Swiss company has sold esoteric “negative-ion” jewellery containing high levels of uranium and thorium. The Federal Office of Public Health has written to people who have bought the jewellery, telling them to send it to the health office.
Health office spokesman Daniel Dauwalder on Monday confirmed media reports that an unnamed company had imported rock powder from China with levels of the two radioactive substances that were harmful for skin cells and the outer skin layer.
The health office said if the bracelets, necklaces and earrings were worn for several hours a day over a year, the skin’s dose threshold of 50 millisieverts could be exceeded. In the long term, the risk of skin cancer would increase, it added.
People who had bought the jewellery did not need to take medical measures, even if they had worn the jewellery for a while, the health office said.
The radioactive rock powder was discovered by German customs guards, who informed the Federal Office of Public Health.
Dauwalder said the office had already received many items of jewellery, which would be disposed of accordingly. The jewellery must not end up in the normal rubbish, the office said.