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Law Banning Toxic Metal In Jewelry Leaves Consumers Guessing Until 2012

A new law passed this year bans children’s jewelry made with cadmium -- a toxic metal. Yet, the law doesn’t take effect until the start of 2012 -- meaning for the next year parents have to evaluate the safety of the jewelry on their own.

Cadmium absorption can cause a host of problems -- from bone softening to kidney failure. The biggest danger is for children, who might chew or suck on jewelry. Recent investigations by the Associated Press show some jewelry lines for children contain as much as 91 percent cadmium. Most, if not all, of those items are made in China. Jamie Court with the group Consumer Watchdog, said that’s one key way parents can tell whether they should avoid the Jewelry.

"And think about what that exposure can mean in the next year," Court said. "It’s just wrong. And the fact that this is a ban we have in California but isn’t in the rest of the nation shows the power of the manufacturing lobby and even the Chinese government and its powers to influence the debate."

The Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association has opposed the legislation. They want retailers to voluntarily ban cadmium in children’s jewelry. One way parents can ensure safety is to make sure children don’t put costume jewelry in their mouths.

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