CPSC Endorses First National Children’s Jewelry Safety Standard

Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum endorsed the first national Children’s Jewelry Safety Standard (ASTM F2923-11) in a major speech before hundreds of safety advocates and industry representatives at the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization Conference (ICPHSO) in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month.

In her remarks, Chairman Tenenbaum praised the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association (FJATA) and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) for the national voluntary standard developed through ASTM International, stating, “I am thankful that the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association and the Toy Industry Association were all supportive of new ASTM voluntary standards for cadmium and other toxic metals in both surface coatings and substrates of children’s jewelry and toys. At my urging, the ASTM children’s jewelry and F963 subcommittees approved these voluntary standards in December of last year.”

Chairman Tenenbaum continued: “Brent Cleaveland from FJATA and Joan Lawrence from TIA did a very good job of leading these two subcommittees and incorporating the viewpoints of a variety of stakeholders. I appreciate the determination that both subcommittees displayed in carrying out their work. Now, we have standards for both toys and children’s metal jewelry, reinforcing my warning to manufacturers about the hazards of cadmium and other toxic metals. Strong standards are the pathway to safer products, and children’s jewelry and toys will be safer thanks to these efforts.”

Cleaveland, executive director of FJATA and also chair of the ASTM F 15.24 Subcommittee on Children’s Jewelry, urged state officials and legislators to base any state laws on the CPSC-endorsed standard stating. “Even minor differences in regulations, standards or test methodologies can have a major negative impact on the market, reducing choice and leading to consumer confusion,” he said.. “ASTM F 15.24 is a strong standard, and any state legislation should be modeled—and not contradict—this national standard.”

The national standard addresses cadmium, lead, surface coatings, nickel migration, magnets, batteries and strangulation, and incorporates technical research from CPSC concerning the migration of cadmium from plastic and metal components of jewelry. The standard is science-based and designed to be health-protective based on exposure limits recommended by CPSC staff.

A transcript of Chairman Tenenbaum’s speech at ICPHSO can be found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/pr/tenenbaum03012012.html

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