(Closed) Rhodium plating is dangerous??

posted 7 years ago in Rings
  • poll: In your opinion, is Rhodium used in plating gold safe?
    Yes : (31 votes)
    50 %
    No : (12 votes)
    19 %
    No idea! : (19 votes)
    31 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    18 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: January 2012

    I’m not really sure about this, but based on what I’ve read, Rhodium by itself is not harmful. It’s used in so many applications, not only in jewelry. The only real drawback of this element is that it is very expensive. Now, I read some nice tidbit about Radium. Radium is highly toxic and radioactive. Rhodium and Radium sounds so alike and have close spelling, don’t you agree? Somehow, this makes me think that, perhaps, that is the root of all the problems. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    949 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I voted “no idea”, but I can tell you that when I contacted the jeweler who made my ring to ask about if I’ll need to get it re-plated ever, she set me straight and said she doesn’t rhodium plate at all because it’s a pretty toxic process–to do the plating, no mention of how it is to wear. (Shows what I know about white gold, right? I actually like how it looks unplated, though.) So, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, but I don’t really know how relevant that is to is toxicity or lack thereof when it’s worn. Interesting question!

    Post # 7
    Member
    92 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Don’t quote me on this, but I read somewhere that it is the act of doing the rhodium plating that is dangerous because of the fumes. Cyanide and other acids are used that when combined produce cyanic gas (which is not good to inhale). So I don’t think that wearing a rhoduim plated ring is unsafe.

    Post # 8
    Member
    3148 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2010

    SO much jewelry is coated with rhodium, even costume jewelry. if it was toxic, I’m pretty sure it would have been all over the news a long time ago.

    I think smb4268 is right: the process of making jewelry can be very harmful, but after it is finished and cleaned, it’s fine.

    Post # 9
    Member
    179 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2007

    I really don’t think there is anything to worry about.  There are MANY toxic things in our environment, I’m more concerned about the air we breathe everyday then rhodium plating on jewelry.  Not to mention the toxic things we put IN our body everyday, which are much more concerning (to me anyway).  So like I said, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.  

    Post # 10
    Member
    602 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    As a chemistry teacher I can tell you rhodium is not harmful in its elemental form.  The process of rhodium plating, however is toxic.  But wearing it is very safe.

    Post # 12
    Member
    1213 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    Wearing rhodium is safe, but many people do have allergies to it so maybe that is part of what you’ve heard? Not sure! I know that most jewelers wear face protection/masks when working, so it probably is just the process, as others have said.

    Post # 13
    Member
    841 posts
    Busy bee

    I am sure that Rhodium plating is safe. If there was something wrong with wearing it, I think more people would know about it. 

    Some of the links above are pretty informative! 🙂

    Post # 14
    Member
    13 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: July 1992

    Rhodium is not toxic on your ring. It is hypo-allergenic and is often used specifically for allergic people to sheild them from the nicklel in white gold.

    I’m a jeweler and I plate rhodium over white gold, platinum and silver regularly. In our industry is considered safe across the boards on rings and any other jewelry

    The process of doing the plating can be hazardess as plating is inherently dangerous.

    Here’s a link from E-how giving more information-

    http://www.ehow.com/info_8745645_rhodium-harmful-health-used-jewelry.html

    Post # 14
    Member
    1 posts
    Wannabee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    In short, rhodium in the form that is on your jewelry is not toxic!

     

    I have researched this topic fairly extensively. Initially like probably most of the posters, I did a simple google search and found a bunch of places saying that it was toxic, but no one really said how it was toxic (through skin contact, from ingestion, etc…).  So I looked a bit deeper.  I then found this article:

    http://www.fairjewelry.org/rhodium-plating-should-be-banned-now-by-stephen-fortner/

    This article talks about how rhodium plating should be banned, why?  Because of the process of plating the rhodium is dangerous, not because a group of people after wearing rhoduim plated rings got cancer.  Then I looked even deeper and found the following scientific article:

    Toxicity of Industrial Metals by Ethel Browning M.D.

    https://archive.org/stream/ToxicityOfIndustrialMetals/Browning-ToxicityOfIndustrialMetals_djvu.txt

     

    In this article, rhodium is discussed in both the dust and solid metal form.  In short, it’s determined that the dust form of rhodium is hazerdous.  There was also tests done with the effects of wearing different types of metal rings (platnium, palladium, and rhodium).  Out of the 3, rhodium caused virtually no reaction from the skin.

    “TOXICOLOGY

    No toxic effects of rhodium have been reported from animal experiments or <br />from observations on human beings. Its harmlessness as a skin irritant was <br />indicated in a case of contact dermatitis. Sheard (1955) observed that a wor- <br />ker wearing rings coated with rhodium (see p. 240) showed negative rhodium <br />patch tests, though all the other metals of which the rings were constituted <br />gave positive results.”

     

    I also referenced the Toxicology Data Network:

    http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@[email protected]+2534

    This study shows that rhodium DUST is toxic (through inhalation and ingestion) but besides that, it’s not toxic.

    I really wanted to look into this as I really did not like the idea of potentially wearing a piece of jewelry every day of my life that could be toxic to me.  It’s unfortunate that in making the rhodium plating that the conditions are hazardous, but for the wearer of the rhodium plated ring, its perfectly safe.

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