The state of California fined five jewelry distributors for allegedly selling jewelry containing excessive levels of lead and, in one case, cadmium.
A statement by Attorney General Xavier Becerra alleged that the companies’ products contained levels of lead that exceeded what is allowed by state metals laws. In some cases, the jewelry has exceeded the legal amount by 1,000 times, he said. One company even called its jewelry “lead-free,” although its products contain illegal levels of lead, the statement said.
The statement listed the five companies and their fines as follows: Peer JS Inc., which will pay a fine of $ 27,771; Obedebom Inc., $ 20,000; Andrea and Paulo Corp., $ 13,416; Seven-star fashion accessory, $ 7,175; and Le Belle Merchandise Corp., $ 15,000. The five companies were fined a total of $ 83,362.
The bureau also released photos of the items at issue, including a pendant, pearl necklace and set of earrings, a gold chain necklace, hairpins and a Hello Kitty belly button jewelry.
âLead and cadmium are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems, even at low levels of exposure, and especially for children,â Becerra said in a statement. âToday’s regulations should send a strong message to anyone who wants to put profits before public health. “
According to the statement, excessive levels of toxic metals in jewelry can cause neurological disorders, kidney damage, seizures, comas and death. He said young children are particularly susceptible to these effects because their brains are still developing.
Separately, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has just signed a legally binding agreement with Amazon.com that requires the online retail giant to stop selling children’s jewelry or school supplies that contain lead levels. and cadmium in excess of those permitted by state and federal laws. As part of the deal, Amazon has agreed to pay the state $ 700,000, which will be used to fund future environmental protection efforts, including investigations into child toxicants.
âAs a parent, when I buy products for my children, I expect them to be safe,â Ferguson said in a statement. âAll retailers need to make sure their products do not pose a threat to children in Washington. If they don’t, they will hear from my office.
Top: A gold chain necklace that was one of the items in issue (image courtesy of the California Attorney General’s Office)
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