Dispatch: Bad Pb & Cd

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The California Legislature has approved a bill that prohibits children’s jewelry from containing more than three-hundredths of a percent of cadmium, worrying that higher levels of exposure would cause long-term poisoning in kids. The Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association argues that instead of limiting the total amount of cadmium in jewelry, the new legislation should address how much of the metal can leach out of jewelry.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross agrees. “Laws should be passed on the available and leach-able cadmium, not the total cadmium content. For instance, the permissible level in Connecticut will lead to a complete ban of jewelry in that state when the law goes into effect. Lawmakers simply do not think of unintended consequences when they enact unrealistic regulations like this one.”

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t said yet whether he’ll sign the bill.

Speaking of toxic metal scares, the Center for Environmental Health is warning parents that Spiderman backpacks purchased at Rite-Aid contain levels of lead above the legal limit established by federal safety standards.

“Here we go again,” sighs ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “This is something environmental activists do every year around the back-to-school season, which is to needlessly scare parents about their kid’s school products.”