For more information:
Brent Cleaveland, Executive Director, FJATA, 401-667-0520
Peggy Jo Donahue, MJSA Director of Public Affairs, 609-238-9243
JEWELRY SAFETY COALITION COMMENTS ON CPSC CADMIUM DECISION
Industry will continue to work on ASTM subcommittee creating a science-based children’s jewelry safety standard.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sent a notice on Oct. 19 to the ASTM F-15.24 Subcommittee on Children’s Jewelry (in which the jewelry industry plays a role) asking it to expedite completion of a safety standard that addresses the potential hazard of cadmium in children’s jewelry. Significantly, CPSC declined to dictate a mandatory limit on the trace amounts of cadmium allowable in children’s jewelry, deferring to the ASTM subcommittee to determine that level.
The CPSC has been independently studying the issue of cadmium in children’s jewelry since a January 2010 AP report brought the topic to its attention. It has since announced five recalls of children’s jewelry due to cadmium content, and has been considering the issue of exactly what trace amounts of cadmium are safe in children’s jewelry—a topic it had not previously tackled.
The Jewelry Safety Coalition, including the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association (FJATA); Jewelers of America; and MJSA, the association for jewelry makers, designers and related suppliers; has also been collaborating and sharing information on the issue of cadmium in children’s jewelry since January 2010. The Coalition has supported the ASTM F-15.24 Subcommittee since its first meeting in June 2010. In fact, FJATA Executive Director Brent Cleaveland serves as chairman of the group, and MJSA is a member.
“The jewelry industry is pleased to be working with the CPSC in connection with the draft ASTM jewelry safety standard,” the Jewelry Safety Coalition wrote to the CPSC in a recent statement. “[Our] associations and their members have a strong commitment to consumer safety [and] the industry supports adoption of common sense, science-based uniform national standards for cadmium [and other potential hazards] in children’s jewelry.”
ASTM standards, though developed on a voluntary basis, are often adopted in many U.S. federal and state regulations. ASTM is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world and a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services. The ASTM F-15.24 Subcommittee on Children’s Jewelry also includes various suppliers, retailers, testing labs, consumer groups, and other stakeholders, including staff members from the CPSC.
CPSC Also Speaks Out on Testing Methods
In its Oct. 19 letter to the ASTM Subcommittee, CPSC also sent information concerning its recent testing of jewelry and metal alloy samples. It told the subcommittee that it believes, after its own research, that the test methods recommended in the toy safety standards, ASTM F-963 and the European EN-71-3, are inadequate for evaluating children’s potential exposure to heavy metals (such as cadmium) from products such as metal jewelry.
The method recommended by the ASTM and European standards calls for a digestive acid simulation test that determines the amount of cadmium that can “migrate” or leach out of product sample over a two-hour period when immersed in an acid solution. While the CPSC did not find fault with this kind of migration test, it did recommend that the test be extended to a 24-hour period.
Jewelry Safety Coalition members have called for the ASTM F-963 or EN 71-3 testing protocols to be adopted here in the U.S., and had recently sent a detailed response to the CPSC advocating for them, and submitting FJATA-commissioned testing research supporting their adoption. In addition, companies such as Walmart are already using these testing protocols to screen for the presence of cadmium and other heavy metals in children’s jewelry. Of the four states that have adopted cadmium regulations, two states (Illinois and Minnesota) also approved ASTM F- 963 testing methods. (The other two states, California and Connecticut, call for a more complicated total weight test, which determines the total amount of cadmium by destroying the object and weighing its elements.)
“Our industry believes that it is important…to continue to work with [all] stakeholders in an open and transparent process to update test methods and requirements in a science-based fashion,” the Jewelry Safety Coalition told the CPSC.
The full ASTM Subcommittee will soon vote on a draft of its standard, including recommendations on the testing of lead, cadmium and nickel, as well as specific potential mechanical hazards in children’s jewelry. Brent Cleaveland, FJATA executive director and chairman of the ASTM subcommittee, said in a statement issued yesterday: “As we have stated in the past, [the industry has] technical concerns regarding the validity and practicality of lengthy test times. We welcome the chance to continue our productive dialogue with CPSC to expeditiously finalize a national, science-based, peer reviewed, standard for children’s jewelry that reflects our collective interest in ensuring the safety of our products.”
The Jewelry Safety Coalition includes the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association (FJATA); Jewelers of America; and MJSA, the association for jewelry makers, designers and related suppliers:
The Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association (FJATA) is based in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The Association represents producers, suppliers and retailers of fashion jewelry. Its 200+ members strongly support safe jewelry for all consumers and advocate the adoption of risk-based standards that assure safety and maintain business competitiveness.
Jewelers of America is the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry retail marketplace. Jewelers of America’s primary purpose is to improve consumer confidence in the jewelry industry through its leadership in public, government and industry affairs; by advocating professionalism, including high ethical, social and environmental standards; and by facilitating members’ access to education.
MJSA is the U.S. trade association for jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It provides the resources to achieve professional excellence and maintain a competitive edge. MJSA currently has 1400 member companies employing approximately 50,000 workers, and representing all sectors of the industry—jewelry makers, designers, suppliers, retailers with custom design/bench businesses, and service organizations.