Nikkelallergie? Alles wat u wilt weten over Nikkel

Nickel allergy? Everything you want to know about Nickel

Why Nickel may no longer be used in Jewelry in the Netherlands


Nickel is a metal that has traditionally been widely used in jewelry because of its strength, shine and affordability. However, in the Netherlands and other parts of the European Union, the use of nickel in jewelry is strictly regulated and largely banned. This is due to the health risks associated with nickel contact, especially in relation to allergies and skin reactions.

Health risks of nickel

Nickel allergy

One of the most common and well-documented health risks of nickel is nickel allergy. This is a form of contact allergy that occurs when the skin comes into contact with nickel or nickel-containing objects. The symptoms of a nickel allergy can vary, but usually include:

  • Itching : An intense itching where the skin comes into contact with nickel.
  • Redness and rash : Redness, rash and sometimes small bumps or blisters can form.
  • Swelling : The skin may become swollen and painful.
  • Dryness and flaking : Over time, the skin can become dry and flaky.

Severe reactions

In people with a severe nickel allergy, symptoms can spread to other parts of the body that have not been in direct contact with nickel. This can lead to more general skin problems and a reduction in quality of life.

Regulations surrounding Nickel in the Netherlands

European guide line

In the European Union, which includes the Netherlands, there is specific legislation that limits the use of nickel in products that come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin, such as jewelry. The most important legislation is the so-called Nickel Directive (94/27/EC), which was included in the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) in 2000.

According to this guideline, jewelry and other objects that come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin, such as earrings, watches, and belt buckles, should not release more than 0.5 micrograms of nickel per square centimeter per week. This limit is set to minimize the risk of nickel allergy and other skin reactions.

Enforcement and Control

In the Netherlands, compliance with these regulations is monitored by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). Companies that sell jewelry must ensure that their products meet this standard. Regular checks and laboratory tests are carried out to ensure compliance with the rules. In case of violations, fines may be imposed and products may be withdrawn from the market.

Why Nickel is Still a Problem

Despite strict regulations, nickel allergy is still common. This can have several reasons:

  • Inadequate compliance : Some cheap jewelry that is imported may not comply with EU regulations.
  • Heredity : Some people are genetically more susceptible to developing a nickel allergy.
  • Occupational exposure : People who work with nickel professionally, such as in the metal industry, are at higher risk.

Alternatives to Nickel in Jewelry

Due to health risks and regulations, alternative materials are becoming increasingly popular in the jewelry industry. Some safe and commonly used alternatives are:

  • Stainless Steel : Often used for its strength and nickel-free composition.
  • Titanium : Very strong and hypoallergenic, ideal for people with sensitive skin.
  • Silver and Gold : Pure silver and gold are natural and safe options for jewelry, although they are more expensive.
  • Platinum : A very durable and hypoallergenic precious metal, but also one of the most expensive options.


The decision to ban nickel from jewelry in the Netherlands is an important step to protect public health. Nickel allergy is a common problem that can cause serious skin reactions and reduce the quality of life of those affected. The Netherlands tries to minimize the risk of exposure to nickel through strict regulations and enforcement. As a consumer, it is important to be aware of the materials in jewelry and choose nickel-free alternatives to prevent skin problems.

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