We want to indulge them with pretty things, but not put them at risk. Unfortunately, that's exactly what's been happening with cheap necklaces and bracelet charms made by Chinese manufacturers substituting cadmium for lead and selling them for distribution throughout the US and possibly Canada.
Cadmium is a known carcinogen and ranked as No. 7 out of 275 hazardous substances in the environment. Cadmium can affect brain development and doesn't have to be ingested to cause damage. Children can be exposed to low levels by sucking or biting a piece of jewelry.
The US Product Consumer Safety Commission has been conducting tests and Health Canada says it's going to launch an investigation. According to the CBC, jewelry with the highest levels of cadmium has been found to come from three sources: Wal-Mart, dollar stores and girls' jewelry chain Claire's.
But concern doesn't stop with cadmium. There seems to be plenty of lead in children's jewelry too. Health Canada reported in December that half of the kid's jewelry it had tested in 2009 was made of almost pure lead. Apparently, targeted testing of 67 suspicious pieces found 39 had illegal levels of lead.
Read more about the investigation into tainted kids' jewelry here.
There are lots of safer and smarter options - from our own backyard. Our little princesses need not go without. Buying Canadian and buying quality makes sense. So does choosing materials like sterling silver, porcelain and pearls.
This pink cupcake charm necklace and porcelain blue heart pendant come with 1" extenders on the chain, so the necklace can 'grow' as she does. This baby heart charm bracelet and girls' heart charm bracelet come with an additional upsizing option. While these pieces may cost more than their dollar store counterparts, they can last for years and in the long run are well worth the money.
Visit Lavish & Lime for a full range of quality children's jewelry. If you have any questions or comments about tainted kids' jewelry or buying local designs, we'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.