Wednesday, 08 December 2021

Attorney General Becerra and Sen. Mitchell’s bill tightening restrictions on toxic metals in jewelry signed into law

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) on Monday applauded Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing into law SB 647, a bill that protects consumers by updating California’s metal-containing jewelry laws to better reflect current science and international standards on the toxicity of lead and cadmium in jewelry.

Lead and cadmium are toxic metals that can cause severe and chronic health effects including neurological impairments, kidney damage, seizures, comas, and death.

Young children are especially susceptible to these adverse health effects, because their bodies and brains are still developing.

“With the passage of Senate Bill 647, California has raised the bar to better protect the health and safety of our people,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Lead and cadmium are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems, even at low levels of exposure, and especially for children. California’s laws regulating toxic metals in jewelry are now the most comprehensive in the world. With this law, our state continues to lead the way with advanced standards that reflect current science and address the danger that these toxic metals pose to our communities.”

“I want to see a California where all children thrive, health justice is part of that mission,” said Sen. Mitchell. “We had to take a harder stance and elevate California’s cadmium and lead jewelry law because the damage these toxins have on our bodies and environment is irreversible.”

SB 647, introduced by Senator Mitchell on Feb. 22, received unanimous bipartisan support. SB 647 strengthens California’s lead and cadmium jewelry laws by establishing science-backed standards that have demonstrated success in both North America and Europe.

Specifically, SB 647 does all of the following:

– Adopts the federal standard for lead in all accessible components of children’s jewelry (<100 ppm total lead);
– Adopts the federal cadmium standard for paint and surface coating of children’s jewelry that is derived from an ASTM International standard (<75 ppm soluble cadmium);
– Amends the definition of children’s jewelry to conform with Canada’s definition (jewelry intended for children under 15 years of age); and
– Applies the EU lead jewelry standard (<500 ppm total lead) to certain materials in adult jewelry.

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