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 parents have to evaluate the safety of the jewelry they buy on their own for another year.
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 % cadmium. Most, if not all, of those items are made in China. Jamie Court with the group Consumer Watchdog, says that's one key way parents can tell whether they should avoid the Jewelry.
"Think about what that exposure can mean in the next year. 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," Court says.
The Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association opposed the legislation. They want retailers to voluntarily ban cadmium in children's jewelry.
Popular children's jewelry lines, like the Hannah Montana brand sold at Wal-Mart, have been found to have high levels of cadmium.