The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, aka Toy Police, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product.  Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  Name of Product: Children’s Metal Necklaces.  Hazard:  The recalled necklaces contain high levels of cadmium.  Cadmium is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.  Incidents/Injuries: None reportedDescription:  The recalled jewelry is shaped as a metal crown or frog pendant on a metal link chain necklace in a crown hinged box.  The packaging has the words “The Princess and the Frog” on it.  See a related Associated Press story and a story in the Arizona Republic.

Note:  The Toy Police lacks the authority to ban products the contain cadmium.  There are no studies that have found cadmium to be harmful to children.  The reason the Toy Police are targeting cadmium products is because the Associated Press recently tested a lot of children’s jewelry products imported from China and found that some Chinese manufacturers are substituting cadmium inn place of lead in children’s jewelry.  Because the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act prohibits minute traces of lead in children’s products and the Chinese are using cadmium in place of lead, the Toy Police are mad and apparently want to show the public it intends to prevent American children from eating not just toys that contain lead, but also toys that contain unregulated lead substitutes such as cadmium.

John Rosen, MD, director of the lead program and chief of environmental sciences at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York, sheds light on cadmium.  A story in the Washington Post stated the following:

Very little is known about cadmium’s potential health effects on children, Rosen says, because it’s never been known to be a problem, “Pediatricians don’t look for it, they aren’t knowledgeable about it, and there are not any particular concerns about it.”  While Rosen says, “It’s very good that

[this issue] has come up and come out, I’m very doubtful” that much harm is likely to ensue. “If cadmium does have an effect on children through this route [exposure to cadmium-containing jewelry], it would be kidney disease,” he says. But, he adds, this would constitute “virtually a new disease in American children.” . . . Rosen says that cadmium “is not more dire than lead…. It’s not known to have the effects that lead has on intellectual development.”  He says he knows of no credible research to the contrary.