The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has solicited comments on a citizen’s petition that aims to restrict cadmium in children’s products, “especially toy metal jewelry.” The Center for Environmental Health, Empire State Consumer Project, Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticide, and Sierra Club have apparently asked CPSC to prohibit cadmium in all toy jewelry under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, as well as declare toy jewelry containing trace amount of cadmium “a banned hazardous substance.”  

While awaiting a detectable standard, the petitioners have urged CPSC to use maximum lead levels as an interim benchmark for cadmium. They have also instructed the commission to (i) implement a test for cadmium that “simulates a child chewing the jewelry before swallowing,” (ii) obtain additional information as needed through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), (iii) include metal jewelry “in the scope of reporting under section 8(d) of the TSCA,” and (iv) “require importers and processers to test toy metal jewelry for cadmium.” CPSC will accept written comments on the petition until October 18, 2010.

Meanwhile, the California Senate has reportedly passed legislation (S. 929) to limit cadmium in children’s jewelry. If signed into law, the bill would impose civil and criminal penalties on suppliers who make or sell children’s jewelry containing more than 0.03 percent cadmium by weight. It would also authorize California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control to regulate the substance. “These manufacturers are replacing one toxic metal for another when less toxic alternatives like zinc are available. It’s completely irresponsible to use cadmium in jewelry marketed to children,” stated Senator Fran Pavley (D – 23rd) in an August 25 press release. See, August 26, 2010.