Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chinese Toy Manufacturers Just Don't Get It

In an effort to deal with their dangerous use of lead in children's toys, the Chinese toy manufacturers decided to responsibly replace it.

With a substance that is even more harmful.


The Detroit News: U.S. warns about cadmium

Federal and state watchdogs opened a new front Monday in the campaign to keep poisons out of Chinese imports, launching inquiries into high levels of cadmium in children's jewelry while Wal-Mart pulled many suspect items from its store shelves.

A day after the Associated Press documented the contamination in an investigative report, the top U.S. consumer safety regulator warned Asian manufacturers not to substitute other toxins for lead in children's charm bracelets and pendants.

Regulators and lawmakers reacted swiftly to the AP report, which found that some Chinese manufacturers have been using cadmium, sometimes at extraordinarily high levels. Congress clamped down on lead in those products in 2008, but cadmium is even more harmful.

. . .

Cadmium, which is known to cause cancer, is a soft, whitish metal that occurs naturally in soil. It's perhaps best known as half of rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, but also is used in pigments, electroplating and plastic.

Cadmium is attractive to Chinese manufacturers because it is cheap and easy to work with. But, like lead, it can hinder brain development in the very young.

There's pretty clearly a reality disconnect in the manufacturing industry over there, and apparently no regard for end user safety.

Up next, what will the Chinese replace the Cadmium with - maybe Plutonium for an extra sparkle? After all it is a silvery colored metal and gives the kids a happy glow...

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