Senate Passes Bill to Protect Children From Jewelry Made With Harmful Metals

May 23, 2013

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that creates comprehensive safety requirements for children’s jewelry to prevent exposure to harmful materials. The bill (S3947), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R-I, North Buffalo), regulates heavy metals, magnets, and batteries in jewelry intended for use by children aged 12 and younger, consistent with the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

“This legislation is another step in protecting our children from harmful substances,” Senator Grisanti, Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, said. “Our children are the most important parts of a parent’s life, parents do all they can to shield and protect them. However, their growing bodies are much more vulnerable to harmful substances. This legislation will help protect all our children from exposure to many of these substances contained in children's jewelry.”

Children can be exposed to harmful substances in jewelry by accidentally swallowing a piece of jewelry or by putting it in their mouth. When the jewelry becomes bitten, scratched, or damaged - which is likely with continued use by young children - exposure risk increases.

Senator Grisanti’s bill, the Comprehensive Children's Jewelry Safety Act, would require all children’s jewelry manufactured, sold or distributed in New York to meet the standards recently adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM). The legislation incorporates the ASTM standard  by limiting cadmium, lead, heavy metals, and nickel, and enacts new requirements for magnets and batteries in jewelry designed or intended primarily for children 12 and under.

New York, as one of the centers of the U.S.  jewelry industry, would join Rhode Island as the second state to adopt the federal standard for children's jewelry safety.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.