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Retailer Voluntarily Recalls Children’s Jewelry with High Levels of Cadmium

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On May 11, 2010, the retail chain Claire’s and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of children’s jewelry sold by the retailer. The recall centers on about 19,000 "Best Friends" charm bracelets made in China and sold exclusively by Claire’s, which operates more than 3,000 stores in North America and Europe. The "Best Friends" charm bracelets were manufactured by Dae Yeon Industries Corporation of China. The jewelry contains dangerously high levels of the heavy metal cadmium.

According to a CPSC spokesperson, the agency’s inspectors at America’s ten largest ports have now started screening children’s jewelry, much of which is imported from China, for cadmium. Prior to this year, no consumer product in the United States had been recalled due to cadmium. Given the new screening, however, industry experts and commentators expect additional recalls of children’s jewelry manufactured in China.

As noted by the CPSC, cadmium is toxic. Ingestion can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. The metal is also a known carcinogen. For more information on cadmium and its toxic effects, refer to this information sheet prepared by the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Attorneys at Spangenberg Shibley and Liber work to protect the rights of individuals who have been injured by defective and dangerous products. If you or someone you know has been injured by a dangerous product, contact our firm.

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    It amazes me that American manufacturers are so quick to outsource to China, but don’t bother to make sure they’re working with reputable Chinese businesses (for example, businesses that wouldn’t use known toxic metals in children’s jewelry). ‘

    This is something we can’t rely on inspectors at our ports to monitor–companies that import or outsource manufacturing need to step up to make sure consumers aren’t subjected to toxic substances.