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State Representatives Chris Perone (D-Norwalk) announced that the Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that will prohibit the sale, manufacturing, and distribution of children’s jewelry that contains cadmium.
Connecticut currently bans packaging and packaging components that use cadmium from being sold or used for promotional purposes. However, the law is silent when it comes to using the same chemical in the actual products. Today’s bill (HB 5314) specifically bans cadmium in jewelry made for children under age 12.
“Cadmium is a known cancer causing agent and it is completely unacceptable to allow children to be exposed to this highly toxic metal” said Rep. Perone. “Under current law, the use of cadmium in packaging is banned. Yet we permit the sale of cheap costume jewelry loaded with cadmium to be sold to our children. Today we changed that law and our children are safer because of it.”
Cadmium is a metal used in electroplating, pigments, and plastic that can have adverse health impacts in humans, especially children. It is currently ranked seventh on the U.S. Department of Public Health and Human Services priority list of 275 hazardous substances. It is a known carcinogen and has been shown to cause developmental problems in young children. The Chairwoman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently advised parents not to allow young children to be given or to play with cheap metal jewelry due to concerns over cadmium.
In the past year, there have been a number of incidents where children’s jewelry has been recalled due to their high levels of cadmium, including Wal-Mart’s January recall of 55,000 children’s necklaces made in China.
"We applaud the House for passing health-protective limits on cadmium in children's jewelry," said Sarah Uhl, Coordinator of the Coalition for a Safe & Healthy CT. "We urge the Senate to approve this bill and keep our state at the forefront of efforts to move away from known toxic hazards and toward protecting future generations from serious and unnecessary harm.”
Several other states have moved in the direction of banning or limiting use of the substance, including Washington and California. The ban of cadmium has also been taken up in the legislatures of the following states: Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York. The bill now goes to the State Senate for consideration.
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