toxic toys from China

Toxic Metal Found in Imported Toys

A U.S. consumer protection agency is investigating how high levels of cadmium are turning up in toy jewelry and trinkets from China.

By Leah Zerbe


Toxic Metal Found in Imported Toys

A legal loophole puts toxic trinkets with reach of young children.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—China may have gotten the lead out, but what's used in its place is just as horrific for human health. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission announced it will examine toxic toys from China after an Associated Press (AP) undercover investigation found that some Chinese manufacturers were substituting the toxic metal cadmium for lead in the production of cheap children's jewelry. Cadmium is categorized as a known human carcinogen, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

THE DETAILS: In the AP investigation, a lab technician tested 103 children's metal charm bracelets and pendant trinkets from around the country and sold at Wal-Mart, Claire's, and dollar stores. Twelve percent of those tested contained at least 10 percent cadmium, a carcinogenic metal that has been shown to cause developmental problems in small children. Some items tested contained more than 90 percent cadmium by weight, and many shed the toxic metal easily, making it particularly dangerous to children, who often put toys in their mouth.

Congress wasted no time reacting to the AP bombshell, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introducing legislation Wednesday aimed at classifying cadmium as a hazardous substance, making it illegal to use it in children's jewelry. (At the moment, it's legal to use the metal.)

Read on to find out how to find safer toys.

Published on: January 14, 2010
Updated on: March 25, 2010

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