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A new toxic heavy metal is popping up in children’s toys

After Chinese-made products were recently hit with a barrage of recalls due to the presence of lead, it would appear that China has only replaced the use of lead with something even more dangerous – cadmium.

Testing conducted for the Associated Press has revealed some products that were virtually all from China, mostly bracelet charms and jewelry sold all over the United States, contained as much as 84 to 91 per cent cadmium by weight.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a list of the most hazardous substances found in the environment, and cadmium comes in seventh place out of a total of 275.

Similar to the effects of lead poisoning, cadmium can harm the developing brains of children but is also a known carcinogen. These particular items made with cadmium can be easily chewed on, swallowed, and touched by children who could then put their fingers in their mouths, which is all that would be needed to put the child at a significant risk of exposure.

One theory as to why cadmium is now the toxic heavy metal of choice is that after the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was implemented in 2008, the use of lead had became strictly regulated and Chinese manufacturers needed to find a substitute. Prices of cadmium had become lower and lower, making it a viable option.

Asian manufacturers are only beginning to realize the dangers associated with using cadmium in such products, and it may take further legislation to regulate its use. North American manufacturers, however, are more likely to use zinc in similar products. ~ Providing Lead Testing and Cadmium Testing Services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Southwest and Central Ontario.  Contact us today in Toronto at (416) 575-6111;  Mississauga (905) 905-824-5733;  Southwest Ontario (London, Sarnia, Windsor) (519) 434-0796;  Barrie (705) 719-0746 or Toll Free 1-866-310-4219.

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