ASTM International, which develops standards for materials and products, voted to officially approve and issue a national children’s jewelry safety standard.
The standard includes strict limits on cadmium content in both fine and fashion jewelry intended primarily for use by children 12 and under. It calls for makers and suppliers to screen metal or plastic components of jewelry for the total weight of cadmium they contain. If the weight exceeds the trace amount of 300 parts per million, the standard calls for additional testing to measure how much cadmium can migrate out of a component.
“The cadmium screening test protects children’s safety, first and foremost, but it also addresses many other safety issues,” said MJSA President and CEO David W. Cochran in a statement.
“Five states have already passed conflicting regulations on cadmium in children’s jewelry, which has caused confusion and complications for both wholesalers and retailers who are trying to comply,” says Peggy Jo Donahue, director of public affairs. “Which test do you conduct? Which limits are the right ones to ensure children’s safety? What’s an acceptable definition for children’s jewelry?”
According to Donahue, the standard answers all those questions.
“If the federal government were to adopt the cadmium limits in the new standard, the resulting regulations would override current state laws, making compliance straightforward, and ensuring that children are protected,” she says.
Jewelry makers and suppliers already testing children’s jewelry for total-weight lead content, as per the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, could then easily incorporate the cadmium requirements into their procedures at little extra cost or time, according to labs that currently perform these tests.