We wrote about cadmium, the toxic medal, in recent issues of the Report and tried to explain how dangerous it is. “The Princess and The Frog” pendants, which are very popular, are now being recalled by Rhode Island-based jewelry company FAF Inc., because of high levels of cadmium. This unprecedented action reflects concerns of an emerging threat in children’s products. The recall affects two products, about 55,000 items, sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores for $5 each. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which disclosed the recall, had been testing for cadmium in children’s metal jewelry in response to the Associated Press investigation that reported high levels of the known carcinogen in the Disney movie-themed pendants and other children’s metal jewelry imported from China.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had pulled three items from its shelves, including the two in the latest recall – a crown pendant with UPC number 72783367144 and a frog pendant with UPC number 72783367147. The items had been on sale at Wal-Mart stores since November, in conjunction with release of the animated movie. Soon after Wal-Mart pulled the items, the CPSC’s chairman advised parents to throw away all pieces of inexpensive metal jewelry, noting that children who chew, suck on or swallow a bracelet charm or necklace may be endangering their health. Consumers can return the two recalled items “to any Wal-Mart store for a full refund or a free replacement product,” according to the recall notice.
The recall marks the first time any consumer product has been recalled in the United States because of cadmium. Recent research also suggests Cadmium can harm brain development in children. The CPSC said in a statement that there have been no reports of cadmium poisonings associated with the pendants, but that its investigation into other pieces of jewelry “remains open and active.” The Walt Disney Co. produced the movie and it has said it “supports the decision by FAF and the CPSC to recall the jewelry.”
Lab tests conducted on 103 pieces of low-priced children’s jewelry as part of the AP’s original investigation found 12 items with cadmium content above 10% of the total weight. One item consisted of 91% cadmium by weight. Pendants from four “The Princess and The Frog” necklaces ranged between 25% and 35% cadmium, according to the testing. At the time, Walt Disney said in a statement that test results provided by FAF Inc. showed the item complied with all applicable safety standards. But in the case of cadmium, unlike lead, there have been no specific levels that would automatically trigger health risks to children or a push for a recall.
As part of its investigation, the CPSC bought pieces of the jewelry cited in the AP reports, tested them in the agency’s lab and found high levels as well. Based on the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, agency staff determined that the items posed a health risk to children. It appears FAF has cooperated with the investigation and agreed to the recall.
Source: Associated Press
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