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The Green Life: Governments Get More Serious About Cadmium, Kids

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August 26, 2010

Governments Get More Serious About Cadmium, Kids

Remember when 12 million Shrek glasses offered by McDonald's earlier this summer had to be recalled because they had cadmium in them? And then you asked yourself, "What the heck is cadmium?"

There are signs that the government is wising up on this growing threat. California's legislature yesterday passed a ban of the metal in children's jewelry.

And the federal government took a small step last week toward doing the same. In recent years it has been found increasingly in toys, including kids' jewelery. Cadmium, a "cheap, unregulated alternative to lead," is also typically found in batteries, and can cause serious lung damage when inhaled. More serious cases of cadmium poisoning can lead to kidney failure.

Through the Federal Registrar, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened a comment period on potential regulations for the hazardous metal.

The Sierra Club has been leading the charge, alongside other environmental groups, to get the dangerous metal out of our everyday products in hopes that cadmium will soon be treated with the same seriousness as lead.

--Brian Foley

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