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LOS ANGELES — Moving swiftly, U.S. product safety authorities say they are launching an investigation into the presence of the toxic metal cadmium in children's jewelry imported from China after disclosure of lab tests showing that some pieces consisted primarily of the dangerous substance.
The most contaminated piece analyzed in lab testing performed for the AP contained a startling 91 percent cadmium by weight. The cadmium content of other contaminated trinkets, all purchased at national and regional chains or franchises, tested at 89 percent, 86 percent and 84 percent by weight. The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children.
Cadmium is a known carcinogen. Like lead, it can hinder brain development in the very young, according to recent research. Children don't have to swallow an item to be exposed — they can get persistent, low-level doses by regularly sucking or biting jewelry with a high cadmium content.
The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children.
Some of the most troubling test results were for bracelet charms sold at Walmart, at the jewelry chain Claire's and at a dollar store.
High amounts of cadmium also were detected in "The Princess and The Frog" movie-themed pendants.
Three flip flop bracelet charms sold at Walmart contained between 84 and 86 percent cadmium.
Four charms from two "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" bracelets sold at a Dollar N More store in Rochester, N.Y., were measured at between 82 and 91 percent cadmium.
Maybe the TV will come out and tell us that Cadmium is good for us - like with mercury.
That TV, it's been saying some stupid crap lately.