County health officials say some custom jewelry they have found at area retail stores is made from old glow-in-the-dark watches which were contaminated with radioactivity.
“The radiation does not pose an immediate health hazard to those wearing the custom jewelry, but prolonged exposure could lead to an increased risk of skin cancer,” Dr. L. Rex Ehling, the county health officer, said.
Ehling said the contaminated jewelry includes earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pins and pendants that have been made from old watch faces and other parts. He said the old watch parts contained radioactive material used to make the watches glow in the dark.
About half of the jewelry tested by the county was found to be contaminated and removed, health officials said.
The county has asked those who have purchased such jewelry not to wear it and to call the Health Care Agency at (714) 834-6884. Radiation specialists will be available to test the jewelry and determine whether or not it is radioactive, the statement said.