A few weeks ago, we wondered if the cosmetic products we use are safe. What are the prohibited ingredients. Who controls that the regulations are complied with. Now it is the turn to jewelry, after an investigation of Canadian television that reveals high levels of cadmium in some pieces of jewellery It sold at different stores low cost. But, we are exposed to any danger?
The research that has made alarm bells
Marketplace is a program of the Canadian Channel CBC, dedicated to making quality control on products for sale in their country. In a programme broadcast at the beginning of year, discovered that several pieces sold by two well-known fashion chains showed a cadmium content far exceeding the recommended.
In particular, those listed are Ardane and Aldo Accesories, two Canadian brands, but with stores all over the world, products, manufactured in China, containing cadmium were found in whose establishments.
The study analysed 50 pieces of jewelry, by researchers from the University of Toronto and the École Polytechnique de Montréal. The results were surprising: seven parts containing between 7,000 and 15 times more cadmium recommended by Health Canada (the official body responsible for the health of consumers).
There were particularly serious cases, as a pendant compound almost 100% for cadmium, or the charm of a bracelet, with a 79% or what is the same, 6,000 times more than the recommended amount.
The marks referred to in the report were not slow to react. Aldo withdrew all products on the market, while Ardene promised to initiate an investigation. In any case, both stated that they have never received a claim for this cause, and they have insisted that their products will not target children, despite the fact that adolescent girls are a regular audience of the accessories low cost brands.
How can cadmium affect health?
Cadmium has an effect similar to the lead’s health. It is carcinogenic and can cause failures in the kidneys, bones and complications varied, especially in people exposed to it permanently. Anyway, these effects would not affect people who wear jewelry that contains this metal. The contact is not the problem: the danger would be to swallow or chew the product, which is relatively possible in the case of children, whose bodies, also absorb cadmium more rapidly than adults.
What does the legislation in other places?
The case being investigated by Marketplace focuses on Canada, where there is no specific legislation on the use of cadmium in jewelry, is only forbidden in products aimed at children. However, the same program conducted a similar investigation in 2001, studying the use of lead. From that report, the lead was strictly forbidden. The good news? That investigations raised a hare which resulted in that consumers could buy more safely. Bad? That lead has been replaced by cadmium.
In the European Union, cadmium is prohibited in jewellery from 2011. It was the last of the prohibitions of this product, after being eliminated from the manufacture of batteries or electronic products. Also from 2011 is prohibited in Mexico, for the same reasons. In fact, in both cases, as it is happening now in Canada, were complaints from journalists or consumer associations which prompted legislation.
But not everything is good news. Cadmium is present in products from China, Despite the fact that the Asian giant also prohibits the manufacture with this metal. There are few current data on the presence of cadmium in jewelry on sale legally in Europe or Latin America, but there is a study that analyzed the jewellery imported in 2007 (70,000 tons) and that it was the chilling figure of 238 tons of cadmium, introduced on the market.
The only pieces of jewelry and jewelry that were outside of the law on cadmium are antiques, for obvious reasons. But there’s another market that keep using it, sometimes unpunished: falsifications, which They imitate jewelry at much lower price products and materials prohibited by law.
In conclusion, the legislation is clear, but there is no sufficient control mechanisms, so, from time to time, there are studies showing that prohibited materials are still present in parts that are sold in Spain.