Kiss Me, I’m Infertile! A St. Patrick’s Day Surprise You Don’t Want to Hear

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, our thoughts turn to parades, green beer, and of course, infertility.


Apparently that’s what some jewelry makers want us to think about when we see a St. Patrick’s Day pendant on a necklace for young girls. Because the St. Pat’s shamrock necklace we purchased at Claire’s, the “fashion authority” for girls as young as age seven, contains exceedingly high levels of cadmium, a chemical linked to infertility, cancer, birth defects and other health hazards.

We also found high levels of cadmium in jewelry for men and women at American Eagle, Up Against the Wall and Buckle stores. In January, we launched the nation’s first legal action to end the threat of cadmium-tainted jewelry.

Claire’s is now a two-time loser when it comes to threatening kids with cadmium: in January, two charms on a “Best Friends” bracelet from the store were found to be made with 89% and 91% cadmium. In response, the company initially stood behind a loophole in the law, stating that cadmium testing is not required. Two days later, the company pulled the cadmium-tainted items.

What’s going to stop jewelry companies from using poisons in products for our kids?

For years CEH worked to expose threats to children from high levels of lead in jewelry. In 2006, a four year-old boy died after accidentally swallowing a pendant that was 99% lead. Our work to stop this kind of lead hazard resulted in the nation’s first statewide ban on lead in jewelry and ultimately resulted in a federal ban.

But now the jewelry industry seems to think they can simply replace one killer chemical with another.  It’s time that we forced major retailers to stop playing games with children’s health.

Congresswomen Jackie Speier has introduced federal legislation (HR 4428) to ban cadmium and other toxic metals from all children’s jewelry nationwide. Please take action and urge your Congressperson to support HR 4428, the Children’s Toxic Metals Act, to ban cadmium and other dangerous metals in kids’ jewelry for.

And have a safe, cadmium-free St. Patrick’s Day!

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Although I agree that action is necessary, the proposed house resolution from Representative Speier is not the answer to the issue of toxic amounts of cadmium in children’s jewelry. Like CPSIA, enacted in 2008, which resulted in a far too reaching scope and application of safety standards of children’s products, HR 4428 is obviously poorly written and does not provide enough detail to properly guide the enforcement arm of government, the CPSC. Congress votes and approves a law that either over enforces or provides no guidance for the commission to succesfully enforce. CPSIA has yet to be affectively enforced; because the Bill was so poorly written. They dont know where to begin in many cases and frankly feel it is technologically impossible to enforce many of the by-laws. In fact, the house has presented a proposed ammendment to the Energy & Commerce committee for mark up, which will reverse and/ or clarify many of the poorly written limitations and applications in CPSIA.

    Anyhow, there will be no need for this bill, since ASTM will be ammended very soon, which once approved will be part of CPSIA and effective 180 days from publication. HR 4428 would simply be a duplication. The advantage is allowing responsible manufacturers and the “do gooders” of the industry to create the language in our standards and regulations. We know how it affects our industry, with our sole purpose to increase consumer protection. Allowing elected officials to scribe resolutions, with little substance and direction for enforcement defeats the purpose of creating consumer protection regulations. It only causes delays and casts a net of enforcement that is far too encompassing and unnecessary.

    Don’t support her resolution. It makes no sense and would not be reasonably enforceable anyhow.