WASHINGTON (CN) – The Consumer Products Safety Commission will begin restricting the use of cadmium in children’s jewelry unless ASTM International – formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials – adopts voluntary standards by Dec. 16, 2011.
The agency’s action is in response to a petition filed by the Empire State Consumer Project, the Sierra Club, the Center for Environmental Health, and the Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides.
Cadmium is used to inexpensively add weight and give shape to jewelry, and has become increasingly popular since 2008, when the use of lead was banned.
But like lead, cadmium is a highly toxic metal linked to cancer and genetic disorders.
Earlier this year, 26 national retailers agreed to stop selling jewelry that contained more than .03 percent of the metal, to settle a suit brought by the California-based environmental group the Center for Environmental Health.
ASTM International standards are frequently incorporated by reference into federal and state regulations; The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 requires the federal government to use privately developed consensus standards whenever possible.
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