Cadmium in Children’s Consumer Products
Cadmium is a toxic metal that recently has been detected in some children’s consumer products, including in children’s jewelry, clothing accessories, and in paints and surface coatings on toys. Cadmium exposure has been associated with delayed brain development, kidney and bone damage, and cancer. Children are at particular risk because of common development behaviors of biting, chewing or sucking on toys and other products.
Since the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, federal law requires that manufacturers of children’s toys follow industry guidelines (codified as ASTM F-963) that limit cadmium on toys that are intended for the use of children under 14 years of age. The standards limit the soluble amount of cadmium in paints and surface materials to 75 parts per million.There are also voluntary industry standards (ASTM F-2923) that set limits for cadmium in children’s jewelry, but these are not mandatory under federal law. In October 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has primary regulatory authority of use of the heavy metal in products, decided to terminate a petition to further regulate cadmium in children’s products, finding that the ASTM standards sufficiently protect children.
Six states have adopted laws addressing cadmium in children’s products.
West's Ann.Cal.Health & Safety Code § 25214.1-2
Sets limitations on jewelry marketed to children who are 6 years of age or younger, beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Prohibits the manufacture and sale of children's jewelry that contains or is made of more than 0.03 percent cadmium, or 300 parts per million, by weight. This includes any ornament that is worn by a person that is packaged, displayed or advertised as appropriate use for children. This law does not apply to any toy regulated for cadmium exposure under the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
West's Ann.Cal.Health & Safety Code § 108550 to 108585
Sets limitations on toys coated with paints and lacquers containing cadmium beginning Jan. 1, 2011. Prohibits the manufacture, sale or exchange of any toy that is coated with paints containing compounds of cadmium as identified in the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. This includes any toy designed and made for the amusement of a child or for his or her use in play.
C.G.S.A. § 21a-12d
Sets limitation on jewelry designed or intended to be worn or used by children, beginning July 1, 2014. Prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution of any children’s jewelry that contains cadmium at more than .0075 percent by weight. This includes any jewelry including charms, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, earrings or rings, and any component that is marketed to be worn by children 12 years of age or younger.
IL ST CH 430 § 140/1 to 140/99
Sets regulations on jewelry that is marketed to children who are under the age of 12, beginning July 29, 2010. Prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution of children’s jewelry containing cadmium in any paint, surface coating, or accessible substrate that exceeds 75 parts per million, as determined through solubility testing for heavy metals defined in the ASTM F-963. This includes any jewelry manufactured after July 2011 that is designed, packaged, displayed or advertised as appropriate use for children.
MD Code, Environment, § 6-1401 to -1404
Sets limitations on any jewelry that is intended to be worn by a child, beginning July 1, 2012. Prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution of children’s jewelry that contains cadmium at more that 0.0075 percent by weight. This includes any jewelry such as a charm, bracelet, pendant, necklace, earring, or ring, and any component of jewelry that is designed or manufactured to be worn or used by a child under the age of 13.
M.S.A. § 325E.3891
Sets limitations on jewelry that is marketed, advertised, packaged or displayed as the appropriate use for children age 6 and under. Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the state prohibits cadmium in any surface coating or accessible substrate material of metal or plastic components of children’s jewelry exceeding 75 parts per million, as determined through solubility testing for heavy metals defined in the ASTM F-963. Also, prohibits any manufacturer or wholesaler from selling children’s jewelry containing cadmium that exceeds 75 parts per million. Beginning March 1, 2011, no retailer may sell or offer children’s jewelry containing cadmium that exceeds 75 parts per million. This does not include the sale or free distribution of jewelry by a nonprofit organization or sales of jewelry not made in the normal course of business.
West's RCWA 70.240.010 to 70.240.020
Beginning July 1, 2009, the state prohibits the manufacture, sale and distribution of any children’s products or product components containing cadmium at more than .004 percent, or 40 parts per million, by weight. Children’s products includes, children’s cosmetics, jewelry, car seats, and products designed to help a child with sucking or teething, to facilitate relaxation, or feeding, or to be worn as clothing by a child. Children’s products not included are among batteries, sets of darts, toy steam engines, video toys, and bicycles and tricycles.