Some jewelry marketed for young children has been found to contain dangerous amounts of lead – a neurotoxin that can cause severe illness and even death at high doses and cognitive impairment and other neurological problems at lower doses.
In 2006, the Health Department issued a Regulatory Action on Lead in Children’s Jewelry and began purchasing and testing children’s jewelry products for lead content. The regulation provided clear guidance to and a timeline for manufacturers and distributors to meet the City’s standard of 600 parts per million.
Subsequently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission published new, more stringent standards on permissible lead content in children’s products. As of August 14, 2009, children’s jewelry with metal components containing in excess of 300 ppm of total lead is banned. The permissible level will drop to 100 ppm on August 14, 2011.
The Health Department will conduct routine testing of children’s jewelry each month and post the results of those tests on this webpage.