Senate Passes Legislation Prohibiting Harmful Levels of Toxics in Children's Jewelry

Hugh T. Farley

June 17, 2011

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) announced that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate passed a measure June 16th that would prohibit the sale of children’s jewelry which may contain harmful levels of cadmium and other hazardous substances. The bill (S.4055A) protects children from accidentally ingesting cadmium, often used in inexpensive charm bracelets, pendants and other jewelry.

Cadmium is a known carcinogen, which can hinder brain development in children and cause kidney, lung and intestinal damage. A 2009 report by the Associated Press found that Chinese manufacturers have been substituting cadmium for lead to make inexpensive jewelry which is then being sold by retailers in New York and other states.

In the AP tests, the jewelry contained so much cadmium that if they had been different items, and not children’ jewelry, they would have fallen under federal environmental laws for specific handling and disposal. Children can be exposed to cadmium by accidentally swallowing a piece of jewelry or by putting it in their mouth.


This legislation restricts the use of cadmium and other hazardous substances in children’ jewelry, including in paint and surface coatings.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly.