Lanphear said for most children, jewelry probably isn’t responsible for the cadmium in their bodies. “But for some kids, those kids that swallow it, it’s an extraordinarily important source,” he said. It also can enter the body by mouthing the jewelry.
Saying the voluntary standards don’t go far enough, Wright recommended that cadmium be removed from all jewelry and other children’s products.
“It's very concerning to me that cadmium can be found in a children’s product,” Wright said. “Even if one child in a million is exposed that’s one child too many.”
The jewelry is an example of how one dangerous substance often replaces another, Lanphear said.
“Perhaps the biggest failure is to fail to learn the lesson of the lead pandemic, that environmental chemicals and metals have the potential to be toxic, so in the end they shouldn’t be treated any differently than drugs. They shouldn’t be used unless proven safe,” he said.
This article originally ran at Environmental Health News, a news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.