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70,000 Bracelets and Rings Given at Medical Offices Recalled

Getting your teeth cleaned usually gives you a reason to smile, but unfortunately not this week.  It was announced yesterday that the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 70,000 charm bracelets and rings containing high levels of the the toxic metal cadmium.  The trinkets have been distributed to kids at medical and dental offices over the past five years, according to the AP.

The AP stresses that “Cadmium is a naturally occurring metal that, if ingested, can weaken bones and kidneys.  Kids could be exposed if they bite and suck on  jewelry containing cadmium.”  My daughter and I just visited the dentist last week, and she picked out a little pink metal ring as a prize at the end of the visit.  Despite my admonishment, she chewed and sucked on it until it was too bent for her to wear, and yesterday I threw it out.  I would  not be surprised if it came from a similarly unregulated Chinese supplier.  As I reported earlier, it’s best – though difficult – not to allow your kids to have cheap jewelry.

If you have one of the 66,200 “Children’s Happy Charm Bracelets” (pictured) with colored beads and a single metal butterfly, moon or sun or one of the 2,200 rings with a metal football-shaped charm attached to an adjustable band, throw them away immediately.

The bracelets were imported by Toy Network LLC of Indianola, Iowa and made in China.  The rings were imported by Fun Express Oriental Trading Company, of Omaha, Nebraska, whose parent company is The Carlyle Group, a financial firm.  They were distributed by SmileMakers Inc., of Spartanburg, S.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of Staples, Inc.

There are no federal requirements for testing cadmium in children’s jewelry, but testing published by the AP in January showed “some jewelry was as much as 91 percent cadmium by weight, and that high levels can leach out when items were run through a test that mimics what would happen if a kid swallowed one.”  So while you’re on the phone to your Senators about banning BPA, you might want to mention cadmium, too.

Photo: Consumer Product Safety Commission

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