I became interested in the potential health effects of copper earwire after my father-in-law noted that copper would turn his wife’s ears green. I poked around the internet for a bit, and found a very helpful discussion on this issue. There seem to be several takeaways:
– Anecdotal evidence that for some, copper can heal earlobe irritation
– For others, copper ear wires can turn skin green
– For still others, copper can cause a reaction
– If ingested, inhaled (from workshop fumes/particles) or worn internally (i.e., earlobes) for long enough, copper can become irritating or even toxic
One last note: this summer I noticed an article about the anti-microbial properties of copper. Apparently, some hospitals are now using it to fight the spread of infections in their facilities! This could add some weight to the anecdotal evidence about copper actually healing some earlobe irritations.
My takeaway from this is that I will continue to make copper earwires, but will include a note in my listing indicating that anyone who is sensitive to copper may request alternative earwires made from niobium, titanium, or artistic wire with an enamel coating.