Monday, February 1, 2010

Eek, more poisonous toys..

This was in the Daily News a few weeks ago..

More trouble in toyland. Now that lead has been banned from children’s products, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting the even more dangerous heavy metal cadmium, especially in costume jewelry, an Associated Press investigation reveals.

Cadmium is a known carcinogen that, like lead, can delay brain development in young children, leading to learning disabilities. Research also shows that long-term exposure can cause cancer and kidney problems.

The AP purchased 103 pieces at national and regional store chains in New York, Ohio, Texas and California. A lab analysis revealed that the most contaminated trinket contained 91 percent cadmium by weight, while other objects tested at dangerous levels including 89 percent, 86 percent and 84 percent by weight. Twelve percent of the pieces contained at least 10 percent cadmium.

Some of the most toxic toys were bracelet charms sold at Wal-Mart, as well as at the Claire’s jewelry franchise and in Disney’s "The Princess and the Frog" movie-themed pendants.

Even more worrisome, some of the items easily shed their metal, raising additional concerns about children’s exposure to toxins.

Kids don’t have to swallow cadmium to be exposed – simply sucking on or biting costume jewelry with high levels of cadmium can hit them with regular doses of the metal.

"There's nothing positive that you can say about this metal. It's a poison," warns Bruce A. Fowler, a toxicologist and cadmium specialist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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