Recently the Associated Press ran a story about the metal content of a number of items of children’s jewelry made in China. The AP tested some jewelry products and found that some of the items contained cadmium. The article speculated that the manufacturers of these items substituted cadmium in place of lead because of the unrealistic minimum lead content requirement of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CSPIA). The federal toy police, aka the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has been cracking down on companies that import and distribute or sell children’s products that do not meet the lead content testing requirements of the CSPIA. Testing the lead content of every part of a children’s product is very expensive and impossible for many manufacturers of children’s products. Many manufacturers cannot comply with the CSPIA and simply stop making children’s products.
Eight states are now considering banning excess levels of cadmium in children’s products. These state are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York. The only reason the states and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are considering regulating cadmium in children’s products is because of the January 2010 AP story. From the beginning of recorded time up to the date of the AP story, the toy police haven’t cared the least about the level of cadmium in children’s products. The reason nobody cared is because there are no scientific studies that have shown that “high levels” (what ever that is) of cadmium poses a danger to children who suck on products that contain cadmium.
Another Associated Press story called “N.J. Assembly bill tightens restrictions on toxic content in children’s jewelry,” makes the following unsupported allegation, “Cadmium is a known carcinogen, particularly when inhaled in a factory or other workplace.” It then states, “The exact risks to adults aren’t clear because it typically takes long-term exposure to the metal to cause the diseases.” The Handmade Toy Alliance CSPIA Blog says, “Cadmium, after all, is a naturally occurring element and is found in trace amounts in almost everything from carrots to carpet.” See