Collection: Understanding the Materials in Earrings by Emma: Polycarbonate vs. Metal

A Transparent Look at Our Earrings: Choosing Between Polycarbonate and Metal

At Earrings by Emma, we are dedicated to transparency and helping our customers make well-informed decisions about the jewelry they wear. We understand the importance of material safety and personal health preferences, which is why we offer detailed information about the components of our earrings.

Our Choice: Polycarbonate

Our earrings are crafted from polycarbonate, specifically the Wonderlite PC-110 type. It's crucial to note that this material is not BPA-free or phthalate-free. Polycarbonate is favored in many industries for its excellent clarity, strength, and versatility. It is used not only in jewelry but also in items like eyewear, medical devices, and food containers.

  • FDA Approval: Polycarbonate is FDA approved for certain applications, including those that involve contact with food. However, we acknowledge that public trust in regulatory assurances has varied, and we aim to present all the information necessary for our customers to make their own decisions.
  • Many pediatricians and nurses choose to pierce with medical grade plastic (BPA free) due to it's hypoallergenic properties.
  • The Association of Professional Piercers says man-made options such as certain types of plastic can be used for healed piercings. 

Concerns About BPA and Phthalates

  • BPA (Bisphenol A) and phthalates are used in making various plastics and resins, including some types of polycarbonate. These chemicals have been linked to potential health risks such as hormonal disruptions and reproductive health issues, particularly when ingested.
  • Common items with BPA include water bottles, sports equipment, CDs and DVDs, and the linings of metal food cans.

Note: Our manufacturer does not recommend using our plastic posts and hooks for new piercings. 

The Risks Associated with Metals

In contrast to polycarbonate, metal earrings can pose different risks:

  • Metal Toxicity: Metals like nickel, lead, and cadmium are often found in jewelry and can cause allergic reactions, dermatitis, or more severe health issues such as neurological damage and kidney problems.
  • It's estimated that 17% of women are allergic to metal jewelry.  Especially, nickel.

Balancing the Risks: An Informed Decision

While both materials—polycarbonate and metals—have potential risks, they serve different needs and sensitivities:

  • Polycarbonate: Offers a hypoallergenic alternative, potentially reducing the risk of allergic reactions.
  • Metals: Traditional choice for earrings, but can lead to sensitivities or toxicity for some individuals.

Our Experince with Customers

We've had the privilege of hearing from hundreds of women about their experiences with our earrings. Many of these women shared that they were finally able to wear earrings again, thanks to our use of plastic studs and hooks. For years, they struggled with sensitivities and allergies that made wearing traditional metal earrings painful or impossible.

Our polycarbonate earrings offer them a hypoallergenic alternative that doesn't compromise on style or comfort. This feedback is incredibly valuable to us, reinforcing our commitment to providing accessible jewelry options that cater to the needs of those with sensitive ears.

Our Family’s Experience

  • Emma and her mom Sarah have experienced allergic reactions to metal earrings, finding relief only with polycarbonate or high-quality metals like gold.
  • Robbie, Emma’s dad, suffered from metal poisoning due to dental amalgam fillings.  His autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's was healed after removing the fillings.

These experiences highlight the variable impact of materials on different individuals and reinforce the importance of offering alternatives.

If You've Made it this Far

If you're reading this article, it's likely you or someone you know is dealing with autoimmune or severe health issues. 

While we are not medical professionals, our experience has led us to believe that a significant part of maintaining good health involves focusing on proper nutrition and minimizing exposure to toxins.  We would personally recommend people with autoimmune issues or severe health issues to consider eliminating all potential sources of toxins in your life, including earrings, whether they are made of metal or plastic.

Making informed decisions about what you put in and on your body can be a crucial step towards better health and well-being.

Commitment to Transparency

We are committed to full disclosure about the materials used in our products. For more details on the polycarbonate used in our earrings, please refer to

We are here to answer any questions and provide further information to ensure you feel confident and informed in your choices.

Cited Sources:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Bisphenol A (BPA)
  2. Biomonitoring California - Phthalates Fact Sheet
  3. Understanding Nickel Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Dermatologists.org
  4. Safe, Clean And Sterile Ear Piercing - BlomdahlUSA
  5. Jewelry for Healed Piercings - Association of Professional Piercers

We hope this information helps you understand the choices available and supports you in selecting the best earrings for your health and comfort. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here to help!