More Recalls in the Works
A recall of children’s jewelry with high levels of the toxic metal cadmium was announced Monday by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
10 of the nation’s largest ports are now looking for the “Best Friends” bracelets made in China. Inspectors are using special x-ray guns to shoot rays into jewelry to determine the amount of cadmium.
The “Best Friends” charm bracelets are sold exclusively at the 3,000 Claire’s stores throughout North America and Europe.
"More recalls are in the works," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said to AP.
The Associated Press reported in January that the bracelets had high levels of the toxic metal and those reports were confirmed by independent tests done by the CPSC. Claire’s stores said it would stop selling the items then. The APs own tests showed the bracelets had up to 91 percent cadmium by weight which shed even during the testing procedure.
This is the third recall initiated by AP stories.
The CPSC agency says “Cadmium is toxic if ingested by children and can cause adverse health effects.” Cadmium is a probable human carcinogen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, if the substance is inhaled. A buildup of cadmium in the kidneys can cause kidney disease and bones.
The jewelry maker has been identified a Dae Yeon Industries Corp. of China.
In Beijing, the Associated Press reports that product safety officials are warning factories against using cadmium in children’s trinkets. Jewelry manufacturers have reportedly been told their factories will be shut down if the products are found to contain cadmium, according to an AP story in April. In January, the Chinese version of the EPA, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, issued an emergency alert to stamp out the use of cadmium, though officials refused to discuss the crackdown with AP.
Consumers are advised to take the bracelets back to Claire’s for a full replacement or refund. The bracelets cost about $12. Parents can obtain a cadmium test kit at http://www.cadmiumtestkit.com to test their children’s jewelry for the toxic metal.
Claire did not respond at publishing time as to whether it employs best practices in scanning inexpensive jewelry sourced overseas. It did not respond to AP as to why it took four months to agree to the recall In January.
But AP reports that Claire’s stores did require its suppliers to test for cadmium in children’s jewelry. “Claire’s Stores has taken significant steps to ensure that its products meet or exceed all existing safety standards and has responded swiftly and decisively to address the potential risk of cadmium in children’s jewelry” the company said in a statement reported by AP.
Claire’s said it was pulling the item from stores shelves “out of an abundance of caution” and that it still believes the items are safe.
No consumer product has ever been recalled because of cadmium and there is no federal safety standard for cadmium unlike with lead. Claire’s stores indicates it would like clearer federal standards to follow.
The Safe Kids Jewelry Act (S. 2975) was introduced February 2, 2010, by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Al Franken (D-MN).
It prohibits the sale and distribution of children’s jewelry containing cadmium, barium, or antimony and treats the metals as a “banned hazardous substance” under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. It has since been referred to committee but viewers to Open Congress can vote on whether they support the bill.
The Illinois Legislature has passed a bill that limits cadmium levels in children’s jewelry. #