Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Group warns of toxic cadmium in kids' jewelry

Environmental group Ecowaste Coalition has
warned against the dangers of cadmium, a known carcinogen found in
children’s jewelry in the US.

Ecowaste urged the government to test children’s jewelry sold in the
country and safely dispose of those laced with cadmium.

Former Ecowaste president Manny Calonzo said the US Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued five recall orders for
cadmium-tainted children’s jewelry from China.

The group noted that the California State Senate passed a law last
August banning the manufacture, shipment or sale of children’s jewelry
containing more than 0.03 percent cadmium by weight starting 2012.

“We need to be on ‘red alert’ to ensure that rejected children’s
jewelry as well as toys containing elevated amounts of cadmium, lead
and other toxic substances are not dumped into the Philippine market,”
said Calonzo.

Cadmium is listed in the revised Priority chemical List comprised of
48 chemicals that need regulation. The Department of Environment and
Natural Resources, however, is yet to issue a chemical control order
(CCO) that will regulate the use of cadmium and cadmium compounds.

The DENR has issued CCOs for asbestos, cyanide, mercury and
polychlorinated biphenyls to prevent serious risks to public health.

According to the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry,
breathing high levels of cadmium can severely damage the lungs. Eating
food or drinking water with very high levels of cadmium severely
irritates the stomach, causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Long-term exposure to lower levels of cadmium in air, food, or water
leads to a buildup of cadmium in the kidneys, leading to kidney

Other long-term effects are lung damage and fragility of bones.

Ecowaste also warned that seven brands of imported whitening products
banned by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for containing high
level of mercury are still sold in shopping malls in Baclaran and
Pasay City.

“Several months have already passed since these mercury-laced skin
lightening products were banned for posing imminent danger or injury
to consumers and we can still purchase them like ordinary personal
care products,” said Aileen Lucero, of EcoWaste’s Project Protect.


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