Tuesday, January 12, 2010

China sells more toxic crap

A couple of years ago, Chinese toy manufacturers faced a crisis when their products were banned or recalled after they were found to contain toxic levels of lead. The bans and recalls should have forced manufacturers to clean up their act; sadly, they've simply switched poisons:

Barred from using lead in children's jewelry because of its toxicity, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting the more dangerous heavy metal cadmium in sparkling charm bracelets and shiny pendants being sold throughout the United States, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The most contaminated piece analyzed in lab testing performed for the AP contained a startling 91 percent cadmium by weight. The cadmium content of other contaminated trinkets, all purchased at national and regional chains or franchises, tested at 89 percent, 86 percent and 84 percent by weight. The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children.

Its not like they're trying to kill people - its just that Cadmium is cheap and no-one ever tests for it. This discovery will lead to better regulation of the use of Cadmium in toys, and to several manufacturers losing their contracts. And then, they'll simply move on to selling some other toxic crap. And they'll keep doing it until the penalties for doing so rise to make it no longer financially worthwhile to poison their customers.