Feds Fail to Enforce Restrictions on Cadmium in Children's Jewelry
Since many of the rules guiding cadmium are voluntary, reporting on the products remains inconsistent and does not meet the requirements associated with official CPSC recalls. Wal-Mart voluntarily pulled some children's jewelry that failed internal tests in 2010, but did not report which items they were or contact affected customers. Official recalls conducted with the CPSC require detailed information on items and options for refund or resolution.
In its report, the AP acknowledges the difficulties in regulating cadmium and other harmful materials due to the double standard of what is and is not considered a children's product. Chemical content restrictions on children's products are much higher than on items made for adults, but because so much of the ruling hinges on "intention," it opens up a gray area. One incident the AP reported involved a charm bracelet at Wal-Mart, with charms that were 90 percent cadmium. A representative from Wal-Mart insisted that "there just isn't anything about the product itself or its packaging to indicate that it was designed or intended primarily for use by children."
The item, which was packaged with the words "For ages 3 and over" on the back, was not recalled.