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MJSA Urges Specific Testing Standards for Cadmium

May 11, 2010 3:11 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) alerted its members about a third recall of children's jewelry containing high levels of cadmium. The voluntary recall, announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on May 10, involves 19,000 "Best Friends" charm bracelet sets made in China by Dae Yeon Industries Corporation and sold at the jewelry and accessories chain Claire's Boutiques of Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

The CPSC reported that the charms attached to the bracelets contain high levels of cadmium, which is toxic if ingested by children. The bracelets were sold exclusively at Claire's from February 2009 through January 2010 for about $12.
MJSA, which has been researching the most reliable standards and testing that U.S. suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers can use to screen for cadmium in jewelry, submitted written recommendations on the topic to the CPSC in late April.

"Our research shows that the most widely used and accepted test to best protect children from the harmful elements they might ingest by sucking or chewing on metal jewelry is contained in the European standard EN 71-3," said MJSA's president, David W. Cochran.
The EN 71-3 testing protocol measures how much of a heavy metal, such as cadmium, can "migrate" or leach out of a jewelry sample over a two-hour period when the sample is ground up and immersed in a solution that simulates digestive acid. Because children's exposure to cadmium usually occurs when they suck, chew or swallow metal jewelry, the research that formed EN 71-3 comes the closest to replicating these conditions. The standard dictates that no more than 75 parts per million (ppm) of cadmium are allowed to migrate from a sample of jewelry in order to pass the test. Walmart has already adopted EN 71-3 protocols to screen for cadmium in the children's jewelry it sells, this company announced recently.
MJSA stressed in its written recommendations to the CPSC that in a global industry, conformance with one standard by all countries simplifies and streamlines compliance, reducing costs.
In the U.S., the same migration test and cadmium limits established by EN 71-3 are included in a standard developed for children's toys by the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM F 963. Several states with bills restricting cadmium in children's jewelry have referenced the ASTM test and its limit of 75 ppm of cadmium. Illinois, for example, has just passed The Cadmium-Safe Kids Act, which calls for testing to the ASTM standard and limits.
MJSA continues to monitor the progress of federal and state legislation that would limit the use of cadmium and in addition to petitioning the CPSC, the association has urged state lawmakers to adopt the EN 71-3 standard. MJSA will send updates to its members regarding pending legislative votes, as well as information on testing labs that can screen for cadmium.

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Tags: China, Compliance, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, Labs, Manufacturing, MJSA
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