Cadmium Prompts Claire’s to Recall Children’s Metal Jewelry

About 19,000 “Best Friends” Charm Bracelet Sets have been recalled due to high levels of <"">cadmium, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced.

The defective bracelets were manufactured in China by Dae Yeon Industries Corporation and imported by Claire’s Boutiques Inc., of Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

The heart lock charms attached to the bracelets contain high levels of cadmium. Cadmium is toxic if ingested by children and can cause adverse health effects. To date, no incidents or injuries have been reported; however, when dealing with dangerous and toxic elements such as cadmium, effects are not always immediately recognized.

The “Best Friends” three bracelet sets are silver-colored chains with metal pendants containing one of the words “Best,” “Friends,” or “Forever” with a heart lock and key charm with different colored stones. The recalled “Best Friends” Charm Bracelet Sets were sold exclusively at Claire’s stores nationwide from February 2009 through January 2010 for about $12.

The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately take the recalled “Best Friends” Charm Bracelet Sets away from children and return the heart lock charms, or the entire bracelets, to any Claire’s for a full refund or replacement product. Claire’s can be reached toll-free at (866) 859-9281 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, or at the firm’s website at

Of note, this is not the first time news that cadmium was used by Chinese manufacturers in children’s jewelry has been reported. The ongoing problem previously prompted action by two New York lawmakers. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat, wants the toxic metal defined as a banned hazardous substance, while New York State Senator James S. Alesi, Republican-Perinton, recently introduced a bill in Albany to ban the use of cadmium in jewelry marketed to young children.

Chinese manufacturers likely switched to using cadmium in the jewelry because they are barred from using lead, the Associated Press said previously. But, cadmium is every bit as dangerous. Cadmium, a known carcinogen, can interfere with brain development in very young children. On the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) priority list of 275 most hazardous substances in the environment, cadmium ranks No. 7. Kids can ingest the cadmium in jewelry by sucking or biting it.

Imports from China into the United States have long been making headlines for issues with defective parts and dangerous elements, including hazardous lead levels in children’s toys and products and dangerous cadmium levels in children’s jewelry. Also, parts that can break off and pose choking hazards to children; problems with hooded garments with drawstrings that are considered defective and dangerous to children; unsafe, sometimes deadly, medications; pet and consumer food products; and health items have been linked to Chinese imports, to name just a few.

Also making headlines is the ongoing Chinese drywall debacle that has been the culprit in untold numbers of cases involving homes across the United States plagued with corroding metals and offensive odors. The entire gutting of houses has been mandated to correct the problem.

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