By Whitney Sielaff
wsielaff@nationaljeweler.com

(Editor's Note: This post was written and supplied to us by Jack Gindi, CEO of FuFoo & Disney Precious Collection. You can find more information at www.fufoo.com or www.preciousjewelrycollections.com.)


 


Bad news: Toxic metals have been found in children's jewelry from China. Good news: There are safe, high-quality alternatives available


By Jack Gindi


 For a precious little girl, there is nothing more special than a gift of fine jewelry.  It is the simplest, most timeless way to mark a special occasion, to give as a flower girl gift, or just as a gift of love. But that special gift may carry a hidden danger. Unfortunately, in this day and age, product safety cannot be taken for granted.  Not every manufacturer cares about your child’s health.  For example, Chinese jewelry manufacturers are getting a lot of negative press these days, and deservedly so.  China ships out a mind-boggling million or more pounds of jewelry annually. There have been numerous recalls of products shipped to the United States that have been made with dangerous, toxic heavy metals.  These poisonous alloys present serious, long-term health consequences for children.



Consumer Reports estimates that about 20% of children’s metal jewelry contains high levels of lead.  Even with federal legislation limiting levels of lead, recalls from lead-tainted imported products are still all too common. Coatings that are not evenly applied, dull, scraped, or chipped are a warning sign of inferior jewelry.  An enamel coating should have a rich, lustrous appearance and feel smooth and glossy to the touch. The Fufoo collection, for example, which is handcrafted in Italy, uses champlevé enameling with the highest-quality enameling compounds that are free from toxic metals.  For quality jewelry manufacturers, the use of toxic metals in the production process as a cost-saving measure is unacceptable and a violation of customer trust.



Now, in addition to toxic lead, our children are facing a new health threat from Chinese jewelry manufacturers, poisoning from cadmium, an even more toxic heavy metal.  Yes, cadmium, that metal found in rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries.  According to the CDC, cadmium is one of the most toxic heavy metals in existence and has the dubious honor of being ranked as the seventh most hazardous substance on earth. Cadmium-laced jewelry is especially dangerous for children because the metal can be ingested just from sucking or biting the jewelry; it need not be swallowed. It is a known carcinogen that can interfere with brain development in the very young.



Why would someone use cadmium alloys in jewelry given the health risks?  For China’s jewelry makers, it’s a cheap metal and easy to use.  Investigative reporters have found that raw-materials suppliers in China sell jewelry manufacturers zinc-cadmium alloys containing up to 90% cadmium.  These deadly toxic alloys wind up in the hands and mouths of our children.  There is pending federal legislation addressing toxic metals in children’s jewelry such as the Senate’s Safe Kids’ Jewelry Act, and a similar bill, the Children’s Toxic Metals Act, introduced in the House of Representatives.



Those parents who demand safe jewelry for their children are becoming more engaged and more vocal.  They are proactively seeking alternatives to potentially dangerous Chinese-imported jewelry. Jewelry should be safe, well made, age-appropriate, and beautiful. Consumers are discovering the benefits, peace of mind, and pride that comes from purchasing high-quality children’s jewelry through admired and trusted brands like FuFoo.



For more information about Fufoo Fine Jewelry for Children, visit www.fufoo.com.






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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.