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Nickel Release

European Union Directive 2004/96/EC

Because nickel and its compounds may cause allergic contact dermatitis, the directive states that its use must be limited in products that come in contact with the skin. NSL offers nickel release testing services in compliance with the latest test requirements.

European Union Restrictions on Nickel

Nickel may not be used


1. In any post assemblies that are inserted into pierced ears and other pierced parts of the human body

The rate of nickel release from such post assemblies is less than 0.2 µg/cm2/week (migration limit)

2. In products intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin, such as earrings, necklaces, wrist-watch cases, and rivet buttons

The rate of nickel release from the parts of these products coming into direct and prolonged contact with the skin is less than 0.5 µg/cm²/week for at least two years

3. In products listed in point 2 above where these have a non-nickel coating

Such coating is sufficient to ensure that the rate of nickel release will not exceed 0.5 µg/cm²/week for a period of at least two years of normal use of the product.

4. Products in points 1, 2, and 3 may not be placed on the market

They conform to the requirements set out above.

To comply with the Directive, the following tests are mandated:

EN 16128-2011 is a chemical test specifically for spectacle frames and sunglasses that measures the release of nickel ions into a chemical that mimics human sweat.

EN 1811-2011 is a chemical test to that measures the amount of nickel ions released from products that are inserted into pierced parts of the human body, as well as items that come into direct and prolonged skin contact.