According to the MJSA, cadmium is mostly found in non-precious, white-metal alloys for cast costume jewelry as well as some solders. However, the Association stressed that most solder and lead-free alloys now used in US manufacturing contained no cadmium or “trace amounts” only.
However, experts interviewed by AP in Yiwu, a city that dominates China’s low- to mid-range jewellery-making industry, said cadmium-containing alloys were being used by Chinese manufacturers in greater amounts because cadmium’s price had fallen and it could be worked at lower temperatures, saving energy and prompting less frequent changes to silicon rubber moulds.
Cadmium ranks seventh on the US government’s priority list of hazardous substances, according to data from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Department of Health and Human Services.
A MJSA spokesperson said there are currently no specific cadmium restrictions on jewellery although the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act does regulate cadmium in painted toys and the CPSC has the power to target cadmium based on the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
MJSA advised its members to require all suppliers of non-precious, white-metal alloys for cast costume jewellery or solders to provide documentation concerning cadmium content and to consider third-party testing to confirm assurances of safe levels.