California’s Jewelry Law and Who it Affects

by Ladyblogger on July 10, 2013

We luckily live in a much more health-conscious world than has been the case historically. This isn’t just in relation to taking care of one’s body; we’ve become much more aware of environmental dangers, as well. For instance, things such as lead-containing paint were strictly regulated once the ill health effects of the substance were discovered. What many people don’t realize, however, is that even jewelry can have dangerous toxins in it. Because of this, it’s important to understand the dangers of shoddy pieces of jewelry and how to avoid them.

What is California’s Metal-Containing Jewelry Law?

After several high-profile events, such as the death of a four-year-old Minnesota child after ingestion of a lead-containing jewelry charm, people quickly became aware of the dangers that certain materials used in both adult and childrens’ jewelry posed. Lead, however, isn’t the only dangerous material that has been used in jewelry. Cadmium-containing jewelry can also lead to serious health consequences.

Although the Federal Government has laws governing the use of substances such as cadmium and lead, California created its own laws in relation to the two substances. When it comes to cadmium, an especially dangerous material for children’s jewelry, any piece must not exceed more than 300 parts-per-million (ppm) of the substance. The amount of lead allowable, on the other hand, can vary between no more than .02 percent to .06 percent of a product’s weight.

Dangers of Certain Metals in Jewelry

California didn’t make these laws on a whim; the simple fact is that cadmium and lead can both have detrimental side effects. Lead, for instance, can lead to organ failure, learning disabilities and even behavioral problems. Cadmium, on the other hand, may lead to diarrhea, kidney damage, vomiting and bone loss issues. Sadly, both of these toxins can lead to death.

Anyone who has gotten sick, or had a child get sick, from lead or cadmium poisoning stemming from cheap jewelry will likely need to get an attorney. The medical costs related to these types of poisoning can skyrocket, and though violators of this California law can face hundreds of thousands of dollars in civil fines, that money will not go towards helping an injured party. However, making jewelry with these materials is flat out negligent, and thus, a personal injury case can be brought forward.

Choosing Quality Jewelry

Many jewelers, especially those who sell online, have taken a financial hit because of high-profile recalls. As mentioned before, however, low-priced jewelry isn’t necessarily dangerous. It’s simply important to be vigilant when making these purchases. For instance, it’s important to choose a reputable online company when making these purchases over the Internet. Check for positive reviews from online comments.

 Also, online jewelers have become more dependable with quality because they must meet CA jewelry standards with their products, as outlined in the law, in order to ship within state lines. With this in mind, online jewelers must maintain a higher quality product. With excellent prices found for everything from affordable wedding rings to a pair of earrings, and variety made with quality as designated by today’s laws, shopping online for jewelry is more recommended than in the past.

Additionally, the website is a government website that has information on all product recalls. This means that an individual can cross reference whatever they’re about to purchase with a government database. Additionally, when a piece of non-expensive jewelry is purchased, a person should pay attention if it appears silver, but isn’t, and has a heavier weight than anticipated. This could be a sign that lead was used in its production.

It’s important to remember that low-priced jewelry is not synonymous with shady manufacturing practices and dangerous materials. Laws are meant to protect people from dangerous materials that could be used in the jewelry making process, but there is always the chance that a company, retailer or manufacturer could ignore these laws for profit. Those who follow the aforementioned tips, however, will usually be fine. Those who end up injured due to dangerous jewelry, on the other hand, should definitely seek legal help.

Legal writer Lisa Coleman encourages caution when purchasing jewelry, and to take measures to know that what you are purchasing is made with quality. Super Jeweler is a reputable online jeweler than sells a large variety of inexpensive merchandise from affordable wedding rings to watches, necklaces and earrings, for both men and women, and made with beauty and quality.


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