California Prescribes New Fines for Lead in Jewelry

A new law, SB 646, signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown Oct. 10, will increase enforcement of fines against retailers who sell lead-filled jewelry.

In 2006, California passed a bill establishing limits for lead in jewelry. However, the new bill’s sponsor, Fran Pavley (D–Santa Monica), said in a statement that big retailers who signed an “amended consent decree” were able to escape penalties for violations.

This new bill eliminates the provision, Pavley said.

“Over three years of enforcement data show that multiple vendors/retailers have repeatedly violated the law—with some large companies racking up more than 100 violations— while incurring few, if any, penalties,” said the statement. “This bill closes that loophole and levels the playing field so all companies—small and large alike—are subject to the same enforcement.

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