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Jewelry industry to self-regulate toxic cadmium

This undated photo provided by Jeff Weidenhamer, shows a Best Friends bracelet purchased at Claire's, a jewelry chain with nearly 3,000 stores in North America and Europe. Barred from using lead in children's jewelry because of its toxicity, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting the more dangerous heavy metal cadmium in sparkling charm bracelets and shiny pendants being sold throughout the United States, an Associated Press investigation shows. (Jeff Weidenhamer, Ashland University)

September 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The U.S. jewelry industry has agreed to voluntarily limit the toxic metal cadmium in items aimed at children.

The move comes after several recalls, and states, including California, have passed laws to limit cadmium use. The metal is believed to cause cancer and other diseases over time.

The new .03 limit is voluntary, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission says it will use the limit in deciding whether to pursue product recalls.

Because the limits are voluntary, there is no automatic penalty for jewelry sold with cadmium levels exceeding them.

CPSC has argued that voluntary limits were the appropriate - and fastest - way to create a common understanding of what would constitute a problem piece of jewelry. The agency said that unless it finds widespread failure to comply, it will not seek mandatory rules.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.