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ASTM Subcommittee Develops Children’s Jewelry Safety Standard

Child Looking at JewelryThe ASTM F-15.24 Subcommittee on Children’s Jewelry, of which MJSA is a member, has developed a Children’s Jewelry Safety Standard in response to various state efforts to limit cadmium in children’s jewelry. The proposed standard, which was voted on by subcommittee members in April and early May, would establish  a 300 parts per million (ppm) total weight cadmium screen limit for children’s jewelry—both fashion and fine—with children defined as age 12 and under.

Among many detailed recommendations, the standard also proposes that, if the cadmium content tests above the 300 ppm screening level, jewelry samples should undergo a second round of testing that would involve either a "migration test," to determine how much cadmium might leach out if the jewelry is swallowed, or a saline test, which simulates what would occur if a child mouths or sucks on the jewelry. The extracted cadmium would not be allowed to exceed 200 μg (micrograms) in the migration test or 18 μg (micrograms) in the saline test.

The CPSC migration testing is somewhat similar to the cadmium content testing included in ASTM F963, a children’s toy safety standard that has been cited in many state bills on cadmium. It is also similar to cadmium testing included in the European toy safety standard EN 71-3. However, it’s important to note that CPSC’s migration test for children’s jewelry features key changes. If a jewelry sample is to be immersed intact in the testing solution, for example, the test must be conducted over a 24-hour period (versus a two-hour period for metallic materials in EN 71-3).

The voting to approve the standard closed on May 2, and the votes and comments are currently being tabulated and reviewed. If the standard is approved by a majority of subcomittee participants, it will then be considered by the ASTM F15 Consumer Products Committee (of which F-15.24 is a part), before final approval and adoption by ASTM. There is no specific timetable as to when these further actions will be completed.

Formed in June 2010, the subcommittee comprises retailers, manufacturers, testing labs, consumer groups, associations, and representatives of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It is chaired by the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Association (FJATA).

ASTM is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world and a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services. The CPSC often incorporates relevant ASTM standards into its regulations, and it announced in February 2011 that it would defer the adoption of regulations on cadmium in children’s jewelry for at least six months, to wait for the ASTM F15-24 Subcommittee on Children’s Jewelry to complete its work.

Key unlocking resourcesMJSA Members: To review the members-only MJSA Guide to Cadmium in Jewelry, click here. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll be asked to enter your login code and password.

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