The California attorney general has sued 17 Los Angeles businesses for allegedly selling and distributing lead-tainted costume jewelry in violation of the state’s Metal-Containing Jewelry Law (Health and Safety Code section 25142), which bars the manufacture, sale, shipment and distribution of jewelry, hair clips and other fashion accessories containing high levels of lead, cadmium and other regulated metals. California v. Joia Trading, Inc., No. N/A (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles County, filed 7/17/12). The complaint also accuses several defendants of unfair business practices, including false advertising for marketing some items as “lead free.”  

The culmination of a three-year investigation by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the lawsuit notes that defendants could face civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation of the Health and Safety Code and the Business and Professions Code. See BNA Daily Environment Report, July 19, 2012.