Report sparks concern over jewelry

11:08, January 12, 2010      

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Ouyang Qiumei, an expert on jade articles, introduces a jade necklace on a jewelry exhibition held at China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 5, 2009. The 5-day-long 2009 China International Jewelry Exhibition kicked off here on Thursday with about 600 companies from 15 countries and regions on shown. (Xinhua)

By Huang Jingjing

Some parents in China said they were worried about the jewelry their children wear after a foreign report said a high volume of toxic cadmium was found in 12 percent of jewelry made in China.

A report by the Associated Press Monday said 12 out of 103 pieces of jewelry, including bracelets and pendants exported from China to US, contained at least 10 percent cadmium, which hinders brain development.

One of the pieces tested contained 91 percent cadmium by weight, the report said.

Children do not have to swallow an item to be exposed. They can be harmed by sucking or biting jewelry with high cadmium content.

The report quoted Xu Hongli, a cadmium specialist in the Beijing office of the market research and consultancy firm Asian Metal Ltd, as saying that the results did not surprise her.

Xu said using cadmium alloys is a common practice among manufacturers in Eastern cities of Yiwu, Qingdao, and Southwestern Sichuan Province.

Zhong Yanzi, a mother of a 5-month-old girl in Hunan Province, told the Global Times that she was alarmed.

"It is hard to imagine that even trinkets are poisonous," she said. "I wouldn't buy any alloy for my child any more, except pure silver and gold."

A man surnamed Ma, who owns a jewelry production workshop, told a Global Times reporter acting as a jewelry seller that products contaminated with lead, nickel and cadmium are not qualified for export.

Source:Global Times

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