Warning About Lead In Children's Jewelry Issued

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Children's Jewelry Warning

Vermont issued a warning about the dangers of lead in children's jewelry, following the discovery of a highly lead-contaminated charm at a hospital gift shop.

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Lead can cause serious health problems, including a decrease in IQ level, particularly if ingested by children under the age of six.

In laboratory tests, the metal charm, shaped like a small typewriter, was found to contain 55,176 parts per million of lead, almost 92 times the maximum set by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and over 5,000 times the lower limit urged by the Vermont and New York Attorneys General in comments filed with the CPSC in March 2007. According to the Department of Health, mouthing or swallowing an item containing the amount of lead found in the charm could increase a small child's blood lead level sufficiently to cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to acute toxicity requiring medical intervention.

The charm in question was sold by the gift shop at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. The gift shop has been notified, and all charms that could potentially pose a health hazard have been removed. The Attorney General is investigating the source of the charm, which appears to have been manufactured in China.

This year alone, the CPSC has issued 18 recall notices for almost 6.4 million pieces of children's jewelry due to lead content, almost all of Chinese manufacture. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reports that lead from computers and other electronic goods discarded in the United States and dumped in China has turned up in inexpensive jewelry exported from China to this country.

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