Jewelers Urge States to Change Limits On Cadmium

Jewelers Urge States to Change Limits On Cadmium



The jewelry industry in the United States is urging states to amend laws that put limits on the toxic metal cadmium in trinkets of children and implement new voluntary guidelines it helped create, saying that stricter rules in a number of states create pandemonium for importers and manufacturers.

However, convincing legislators to revive the issue will not be an easy sell. Many environmental and consumer advocates are saying that the new guidelines diminishes protection of children’s health.

Although the voluntary rules appear to have won the support of federal regulators, states that have passed stricter limits over the past year would have to go into reverse and permit higher levels of a metal that has been found to cause cancer.

That did not sound likely.

Delegate James Hubbard, a Democrat who successfully sponsored the toughest cadmium-in-jewelry limits in the nation this spring, said, “Maryland ought to set whatever standard we feel is correct. We made a judgment call based on what we felt was in the best interest of the people we represent.”

A jewelry industry that has been battered by over a year of recalls and legal defeats does appear to have gained some strength, now that the regulations it drafted were passed last week by the very much respected organization ASTM International, which lays down voluntary rules for a variety of goods. The goal of the industry is to replace the present mix of regulation with a unified standard.

Brent Cleaveland, the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association executive director and chair of the ASTM subcommittee that drafted the rules, said, “Our whole mission in this is to have standards that are not floating in quicksand.” He also said limits observed in some states are “way more conservative than necessary” to protect the health of kids.