Jul 31, 2016 09:26AM
Low-Cost Jewelry May Harbor Cadmium
James Van Loon, director of risk management at Health Canada’s consumer product safety branch, says that children’s bodies more readily absorb the toxic metal, and because they are more likely to put things in their mouths, jewelry that is marketed to those under 15 should contain virtually no cadmium.
Dr. Gérald Zagury, who performed tests and has published several studies on heavy metals in jewelry, says one sample contained the highest amount of cadmium ever reported in Canada for such a product. “It’s pretty close to pure cadmium,” he says. According to Health Canada, cadmium is cheap and melts at a lower point than more commonly used zinc, lowering energy costs for product makers.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, cadmium is a known carcinogen that can also lead to kidney failure, bone loss and other complications in those that are chronically exposed over time.