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Testing Reveals Items Of Children's Jewelry With Excess Lead

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Baltimore City Health Department has issued violation notices to two businesses prohibiting the sale of four children's jewelry products that were identified with a lead level in metal components above 600 parts per million (ppm). The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been alerted to the most recent findings.

The Health Commissioner is deeming all products of the same style and manufacturer of these items to be a nuisance to public health. These products may not be offered for retail sale in Baltimore City.

Under a regulation adopted on December 7, 2006, children's jewelry containing more than 1,200 ppm were not to be offered for retail sale in Baltimore City. As of September 1, 2007, children's jewelry with metal components containing in excess of 600 ppm of total lead are banned.

The items identified were sold at the below businesses:

A. Sonie Gift Shop, 2101 E. Monument Street

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Bracelet with cat face charms – the cat charm contained 87,800 ppm

B. Rainbow, 5628-30 The Alameda

Earrings (large studs) with cat face – earrings contained 27,800 ppm
Earrings (small studs) with cat face – earrings contained 571,000 ppm
Hannah Montana charm bracelet – bracelet contained 6,090 ppm

Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause severe illness and even death at high doses and cognitive impairment and other neurological problems at lower doses. The standard for lead in paint is 600 parts per million of lead.

On August 14, 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published new, more stringent standards on permissible lead content in children's products. The law stipulates that by February 10, 2009, children's products cannot have a total lead content above 600 ppm. On August 14, 2009, the limits drops to 300 ppm and then drops three years later to 100 ppm on August 14, 2011.

The Health Department tested 16 children's jewelry products in February 2009. The above products were the only products found to be in excess of 600 parts per million. A full report of the testing and results will be released later today.