California AG Sues Distributor for Toxic Children’s Jewelry

LOS ANGELES (CN) — All that glitters is not gold, according to a suit filed by the California Attorney General that says a Los Angeles distributor’s jewelry contains toxic levels of lead and cadmium and is often marketed to children and labeled “lead-free.”

The suit accuses Luxy Accessories, Inc. and its owner, Hyunn Sook Kim, of selling jewelry that violates the state’s Metal-Containing Jewelry Law.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed his suit jointly with the Department of Toxic Substances Control on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Kim is the sole employee of Luxy Accessories, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

This is not the first time Kim has come under fire for her jewelry. In 2012, California’s former attorney general, Kamala Harris, named Kim and a number of other jewelry distributors in a suit for selling jewelry with excessive levels of lead. Kim did not respond to the suit at the time and ignored attempts to contact her.

In 2014, the Department of Justice won a judgment against Kim’s company for $145,000 in penalties and injunctive relief, but the judgment remains unpaid.

Last month, inspectors and Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies searched Kim’s warehouse for jewelry with lead and cadmium, according to a statement released by the attorney general’s office. Using field screening devices, inspectors with the Department of Toxic Substances found 150 boxes of jewelry containing excessive levels of both substances.

Those boxes were placed into quarantine, and Kim’s remaining jewelry was removed. The Sheriff’s Department plans to auction the items not containing toxic substances on Dec. 6 in South El Monte to pay for the outstanding judgment.

“Luxy has continued to blatantly violate our laws, and in the process, jeopardized the wellbeing of our sons and daughters,” said Becerra in a statement. “The California Department of Justice has zero tolerance for this type of egregious behavior.”

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