Senators Introduce Legislation To Ban Toxic Heavy Metal Cadmium Found In Children's Jewelry
Reports indicate that China has been using cadmium in its products for years. Since the use of lead is now heavily regulated under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, manufacturers have been using zinc as a safe alternative. However, it’s been shown that many children’s jewelry products exported from China have contained high levels of cadmium instead of the nontoxic zinc. Unfortunately, federal consumer protection rules do not currently prevent these items from being sold in the United States. If the items were painted toys, they would face a recall. If they were industrial garbage, they could qualify as hazardous waste. But there is currently no cadmium restriction on jewelry so all of these products are currently legal to sell and purchase in the United States.
Just last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall of 55,000 children’s necklaces made in China, sold exclusively at Wal-Mart retail stores nationwide between November 2009 and January 2010, because they contain high levels of cadmium. The recalled children’s jewelry is shaped as a metal crown or frog pendant on a metal link-chain necklace in a crown-hinged box. The packaging includes the words “Disney” and “The Princess and the Frog.” The CPSC also has launched an internal investigation into children’s metal jewelry and the use of cadmium. Chairwoman of the CPSC, Inez Tenenbaum, is warning Asian manufacturers to stop using cadmium, which currently ranks no. 7 on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's priority list of 275 most hazardous substances in the environment. The CPSC has received several complaints about the status of the toxic metal for the past two years.