After all of the jewelry recalls that have been issued in 2010 alone, lawmakers in California, are in the process of trying to get a bill passed that would limit cadmium in children’s jewelry to a minuscule amount.
Quite a bit of international attention was drawn earlier this year, when an investigation by The Associated Press revealed that several Chinese jewelry manufacturers were substituting the carcinogenic metal for lead.
Lawmakers and public health officials worry that kids could suffer long-term poisoning if they suck on or bite jewelry containing cadmium, which also can harm kidneys and bones.
Under California’s legislation, jewelry for kids 6 and under could not contain anything over three-hundredths of a percent of cadmium starting in 2012. One piece of jewelry tested during AP’s investigation was 91 percent cadmium.
The California state Senate passed SB929 by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, on Wednesday. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has yet to take a position.
Three other states have enacted cadmium-in-jewelry laws this year.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is drafting new limits on cadmium, which are expected to be released in coming weeks. It’s not clear, however, whether that standard will be enforced immediately or will go through an extended rule-making process.
The commission already has taken some action, including orchestrating recalls of necklaces and bracelets sold at national chain stores including Walmart and Claire’s, and the teen-oriented stores Justice and Limited Too.
The Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association, which represents the U.S. industry, has not responded to a request for comment.
Source: Business Week