Sunday, January 10, 2010

Know Your Toxic Chinese Supplier

Chinese producers switched from lead in children's jewelry. Many chose the more dangerous heavy metal cadmium, a known carcinogen. The AP reported on their study:

12 per cent of the pieces of jewelry contained at least 10 per cent cadmium.

Note the study was not done by any consumer product safety groups, but by a news organization. Once informed, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said they would open an investigation, bringing back memories of the SEC and Bernie Madoff.

Retailers selling toxic children's jewelry included Walmart, Dollar N' More and Claire's. All the toxic products were produced in China.

Xu Hongli, a cadmium specialist with the Beijing office of Asian Metal Ltd., a market research and consultancy firm, said test results showing high cadmium levels in some Chinese-made metal jewelry did not surprise her. Using cadmium alloys has been "a relatively common practice" among manufacturers in the eastern cities of Yiwu and Qingdao and the southern province of Sichuan, Xu said.

"Some of their products contain 90 per cent cadmium or higher," she acknowledged. "Usually, though, they are more careful with export products."

She said she thought that manufacturers were becoming aware of cadmium's dangers, and are using it less, "But it will still take a while for them to completely shift away from using it."

The Center for Disease Control ranks cadmium #7 on its list of the 275 most hazardous substances. Common in China, cheap and toxic in America. So much for knowing your supplier.

The list of deadly Chinese products grows. Buyer beware continues.

Update: America shed jobs by the millions to China between 2000 and 2008. President Obama wants to obscure future job exports, like GM's shifting jobs and production to the Red Scare.

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