CPSC Chairman’s Statement on Cadmium in Children’s Products

(Read the transcript or watch in Windows Media format. You can also download the video in Adobe Flash or Windows Media format)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is moving swiftly to deal with the replacement of lead with cadmium in certain children’s products imported from China.

In a taped keynote speech to be delivered Tuesday to regulators at the APEC Toy Safety Initiative/Dialogue in Hong Kong, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum warns against the use of heavy metals, “especially cadmium,” in children’s products. While praising the removal of lead in children’s products, Tenenbaum encouraged manufactures in China to refrain from substituting cadmium, antimony or barium in place of lead.

“All of us should be committed to keeping hazardous or toxic levels of heavy metals out of surface coatings and substrates of toys and children’s products,” she says.

Later on in the speech, Tenenbaum notes that “Voluntary efforts will only take us so far.” She points out that CPSC staff has been working on testing protocols and lab accreditation rules for regulated children’s products. The agency will develop mandatory standards, as needed, to deal with heavy metals in children’s products.

CPSC staff has opened a formal investigation into children’s metal jewelry identified in a recent news story to determine the action CPSC needs to take to keep children safe.

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