Senators Introduce Legislation To Ban Toxic Heavy Metal Cadmium Found In Children's Jewelry
On the heels of a new report showing that the toxic metal cadmium is being used in children’s jewelry sold in stores across the nation, U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Al Franken (D-MN) today announced that they have introduced legislation that will define cadmium as a banned hazardous substance which will get cadmium out of children’s jewelry once and for all. The report shows that cadmium is being used by Chinese manufacturers who are producing children’s jewelry that is being sold in the United States. While these manufacturers were previously using lead in their products, they have switched over to using cadmium instead of the safe alternative, zinc. Cadmium is a carcinogen that has been shown to cause developmental problems in small children. Moreover, cadmium does not have to be ingested by children for them to be exposed; children simply have to suck on or bite the items regularly to be exposed to a high level of cadmium. The Safe Kids’ Jewelry Act will ban the use of cadmium and certain other heavy metals in children’s jewelry sold in the United States.
“It is shocking and unacceptable that Chinese manufacturers are putting a deadly toxic metal that threatens our children’s health and well-being into jewelry and trinkets that kids play with and chew on. It makes your blood boil. This has to end, and end now,” said Schumer. “This new report shows that cadmium is not only extremely harmful to our children but also extremely common in children’s jewelry products across the United States. There is enough evidence about how dangerous this metal is that we must take action immediately so no more children are put in harm’s way. It’s time to get this toxic metal—and all others like it—out of children’s jewelry and keep it out.”
“It seems like there’s a glut of stuff coming in here for kids that’s full of toxins, from lead paint on toys to dangerous metal in little girls’ jewelry,” said Nelson, a chief proponent of independent testing of imported toys and now a co-sponsor of Schumer’s legislation. “We just have to get this cheap junk off the shelves and out of the hands of kids.”
“Cadmium is a known carcinogen that is particularly dangerous to children,” Brown said. “Research by Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer of Ashland University in Ohio has confirmed that some producers of jewelry have chosen to jeopardize the health and safety of our children. We need to prohibit the production, sale, or distribution of children’s jewelry containing cadmium.”
“As a parent and a lawmaker, I am extremely concerned that our children could be exposed to this kind of toxic metal,” said Gillibrand. “Congress should act immediately to protect our children’s health and eliminate this dangerous substance from the jewelry and trinkets we give to our children.”
“This is a no brainer--we can’t let unsafe products from other countries poison our children,” said Franken. “We’ve already banned the use of lead in children’s products but now more and more manufacturers are using cheap metals like cadmium, barium and antimony in its place. The Safe Kid’s Jewelry Act makes sure that these toxic metals don’t end up around the necks of our children.”