Last year, strict new rules were instituted for the lead content in children’s toys in the United States. So instead of substituting zinc, which is relatively safe, in children’s jewelery, what did Chinese manufacturers do? As revealed by the AP yesterday, they substituted cadmium, which is even more toxic to growing brains.
Today, Walmart is pulling many children’s jewelry items from the shelves, and federal regulators and Congress are promising investigations.
“This is just the latest example of the need for stronger consumer safety laws in this country, especially for products manufactured and marketed for children, and shows yet again why products from China should be subject to additional scrutiny,” said Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat.
“Between children’s jewelry, tainted milk and contaminated pet food, China has a long record of producing unsafe products, and the U.S. should continue to be wary of all products arriving from China.”
A representative of the fashion jewelry association said her organization had not noticed widespread use of cadmium and believed zinc was being used instead.
Read the full article here.
Playing devil’s advocate here, the article said that swallowing the cadmium is not necessary, but it could be absorbed through repeated sucking of an object. Who lets small children suck on small pieces of jewelry, anyway?
Seriously, though, small children can get a hold of anything and it’s totally wrong these manufacturers would try to use something even more toxic to get around the ban on lead. Also, if it is so readily absorbed through sucking on an object, is it even safe to have lying on the skin (necklaces) or through it (piercings)?
One place that has been selling a lot of this jewelry is Claire’s. I bought something there once in high school, wore it once, and worried the whole time I was wearing it that it would do something awful to me (it just looked so cheap).