Three Minnesota state agencies, the Department of Commerce, Department of Health, and Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), have conducted a joint investigation of children’s jewelry products containing toxic levels of cadmium. Three products were recalled this month as a result of the agencies’ Chemicals in Products Interagency Team. The MPCA purchased and tested 89 products and found three to have toxic levels of cadmium. The Department of Health determined that these levels represented a hazard to children, and the Commerce Department subsequently conducted an investigation under the Safe Toys Act.
Some companies now use cadmium instead of lead, which is highly restricted in children’s products. Cadmium exposure is associated with delayed brain development, kidney and bone damage, and cancer.
The agencies have issued a fact sheet with consumer tips on the Toys and Safety Act: Enforcement Action and Consumer Tips (PDF), and the Department of Health has a fact sheet about Lead and Cadmium in Children’s Jewelry (PDF).