Nickel has been shown to be the most common cause of skin contact allergy in Europe. European Directive 94/27/EC was made UK Law in 2000 and specifies the upper limit for nickel release in articles which have direct and prolonged contact with the skin - such as Jewellery, fashion accessories, and metal adornments for fashion.
The ‘Nickel Directive’ 94/27/EC does not ban the use of nickel per se. For the majority of items it only restricts the release of nickel ions from the item. Alloys that contain nickel that don't corrode, i.e. some stainless steels, don't release nickel ions and so may be used.
The European Directive 94/27/EC (excerpt)
"in products intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin such as:
earrings, necklaces, bracelets and chains, anklets, finger rings, wrist-watch cases, watch straps and tighteners, rivet buttons, tighteners, rivets, zippers and metal marks, when these are used in garments
If the rate of nickel release from the parts of these products coming into direct and prolonged contact with the skin is greater than 0.05 microgrammes per square centimetre per week is prohibited."
For more information about the European Directive restricting the use of nickel click here
About the Assay Office and Nickel Release Testing
The Birmingham Assay Office is the leading Nickel testing specialist in the UK. We use them to test our products according to procedures based on BS EN 1811:1999 and BS EN 12472, and guarantee they meet the UK nickel directive. Testing of plated products after a Corrosion/Wear simulation of two years of use. Test results are supplied on a UKAS accredited certificate which can be supplied.
For more information click here to visit the Assay Office website
Why you can trust Nickelsafe for allergy free products...
Products can pass the EU Directive and claim to be nickel free while still releasing nickel at a rate of 0.05 microgrammes per square centimetre. At Nickelsafe, we believe this is misleading, as people with extemee sensitivity to nickel can still have an allergic reaction Nickelsafe only sell products that have 0.01% nickel release (hence not nickel free, but nickel safe) or are completely nickel free. This is why you can trust us when we say our products are safe to wear, and can offer a money back guarantee to prove it.