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Suffering from nickel sensitivity means you’ll most likely experience and allergic reaction, which may lead to allergic contact dermatitis. Did you know that several common household items contain nickel in them? We’ve done extensive research and have come up with a list of many household items that contain nickel allergen.
This way, you may either make some changes to what is used around your home or take precautionary measures against them to reduce allergic reaction flare-ups.
Depending on how actively involved a person is at home, he/she may come into contact with more or less nickel allergen.
Remember that whenever in doubt, you can always use a nickel allergy test-kit and test for the presence of nickel on any surface.
List of household items that contain nickel?
We’ll arrange the items according to the rooms where they are usually found it, though, depending on each individual’s taste, the location may be a hit or miss.
Nickel allergen at home – In The Kitchen
A study has shown that the items in the kitchen are a culprit to high nickel-content. That’s because a high number of items in the kitchen are made with either 304 and 316 stainless steel (18/8 and 18/10) materials, which contain at least 8% nickel, brass alloys, chromium(chrome finish) or have a “brushed nickel” finishing. And to people who are allergic to nickel, that’s a lot!
Please note that this list only contains inedible items that contain nickel, we wrote an extensive list of foods high in nickel. It is also worth a shot to check out our nickel content checker to see ho many grams on nickel are in the food before you buy or eat them.
Here is the list of household items that contain nickel
- Coffee machine
- pantry ware
- stainless steel cookware
- stainless steel flatwares (utensils)
- stainless steel sinks
- stainless steel hand washing basin
- stainless steel grills
- electric appliance stainless steel handles(microwaves, refrigerators)
In the living room and bedroom
- glass/stainless coffee tables
- some furniture with metallic parts
- floor lamps
- bra hooks
- bra underwires
- sunglass handles
- ink pens
- paper clips
- pins and needles (including knitting needles, acupuncture needles)
- smoke lighters
- chrome cufflinks
- some zippers
- metal buttons on clothes, e.g., jeans, and jackets
- mobile phones
- metal parts found on earphones
- jewelry containing less than 14K gold
- most other metal jewelry
- vacuum cleaners
In the bathroom
- makeups (many contain nickel sulfate hexahydrate
- hair deco and ornaments
- stainless steel and “chrome finish” showerheads
- stainless steel towel shelves
- razorblades and shaving sticks
- eyelash curlers
- nail clippers and filers
- stainless steel toilet-flush handles/buttons
- stainless steel toilet paper holders
- orthodontic(dental implants) devices
- orthopedic(implants) devices
In the Garage and the garden
- all hand tools (except rubberized handled ones)
- stainless parts of vehicles
- pruning shears
- most gardening tools
- stainless steel hose nozzles
On musical instruments
- guitar strings
- cello strings
- metal parts found on drum sets
There are in fact many more household items that contain nickel, and this list will be frequently updated.
How to avoid nickel contact around household items
Nickel allergy does not cause any life-threatening symptoms, but if you find it hard to navigate through daily routines, there is always a way to reduce nickel contact.
- Wear gloves when dealing with stainless steel and metallic objects around the house. You can easily find many food-grade gloves at most supermarkets and online shops, but you must make sure they’re metal-free.
- Use clear nail polish to coat some jewelry sets instead of buying new ones. This will provide a temporary fix for a couple of wears. Alternatively, get it coated using a precious metal.
- Only wear jewelry sets made from a tested and confirmed hypoallergenic sterling silver, precious metals like platinum, titanium, 18k or 24k gold, plastic, ceramic, or wood.
- Wear watches made of rubber or with no visible metallic parts.
- Use surgical metals for piercings, but in case of an individual with hypersensitivity to nickel, use precious metals instead, as surgical metals still contain a small amount of nickel.
- Wear clothes with paint-coated metallic parts or go for clothes that are made with full plastic parts.
- switch 304 and 316 stainless steel cookwares with nickel-free alternatives like ceramic coated cookware, 430 stainless steel(21/0 – contains <1% nickel)
- For utensils and silverware, buy ones with rubberized or wooden handles or use wooden chopsticks.
- Use metallic tools that are plastic or paint-coated.
- Avoid most alloyed metals.
Perspiration is a significant catalyst for nickel dermatitis, avoid wearing or interacting nickel-containing objects during the hot seasons.
Wearing a nickel object while sweating will result in an allergic reaction after a few minutes.
Conversely, nickel-sensitive patients report less flare up during the chilly weather.
what other household items that contain nickel which you think should be on the list?
Manufacturing – Numerical List of Manufactured and Mineral Products
U.S. Census Bureau, the Official Statistics, 1997 Economic Census Jan. 22, 1999.
Tominaga, Tadasuke, Ryo Shimada, et al. “Senescence-Associated-β-Galactosidase Staining Following Traumatic Brain Injury in the Mouse Cerebrum.” PLoS One, vol. 14, no. 3, Public Library of Science, Mar. 2019, p. e0213673.
United States Enviromental Protection Agency, US EPA.
American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS), Contactderm.org Patient Handout, ZZ Nickel.pdf
What are 7 ways to avoid nickel? – WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/qa/what-are-7-ways-to-avoid-nickel
Nickel allergy – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nickel-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20351529