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Walmart rules target cadmium

LOS ANGELES – The world’s largest retailer revealed Monday that it has started to crack down on the use of the toxic metal cadmium in children’s jewelry and other kids’ products.

The new policy doesn’t affect what’s on the shelves of Walmart stores right now.

Instead, children’s jewelry and craft-making kits, toys and child-care articles such as bibs and pacifiers manufactured as of April 9 are being tested for cadmium, Walmart Stores Inc. said.

Setting new standards is a voluntary move. Though cadmium can harm bones and kidneys and is a known carcinogen, there are no government regulations on how much of it is allowed in children’s jewelry.

Walmart’s decision was spurred by investigative reports by the Associated Press that showed high levels of cadmium in some pieces of children’s jewelry, including several which Walmart later recalled.

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission now wants to restrict cadmium in children’s jewelry, and several lawmakers at the federal and state levels have proposed limits. In California, the state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would ban cadmium in children’s jewelry.

Walmart’s regimen follows European Union cadmium standards, according to Peggy Fowler, the chain’s senior director of product safety and regulatory compliance.


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