It is all about how cheap we can make cheap jewelry and toys.
If it works and no one complains about the toxicity level of certain metals used then keep doing it. China’s low-cost jewelry makers, it was an open trade secret: The metal cadmium is shiny, strong and malleable at low temperatures, regardless of its health hazards. And it’s cheap.It is being used now to keep the cost down since lead was banned a few years ago. Profit at all costs above childrens health. Cancer, learning disabilities and permanent IQ loss are some of the known side effects. Tao Xinyao, a metals expert who works in the Yiwu factory for jewelry maker Neoglory, said she noticed an upserge in the use of cadmium around 2003, when prices of the metal hit a low. Jewelry makers discovered they could work with cadmium at much lower temperatures than they could zinc, the most common nontoxic material, she said.
The Associated Press bought and tested more than 100 pieces of childrens jewelry made in China
and sold at Wal-mart and other retailers around the country.
Cadmium content of a few toys
12% of the cheap jewelry trinkets contained at least 10 %
Disney’s “Princess and the Frog” pendants -25 to 35 %
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer charm – 91 %
Best Friend’s Bracelet charms – 89 and 91 %
Signs of cadmium overdose
“Acute exposure to cadmium fumes may cause flu like symptoms including chills, fever, and muscle ache
Severe tracheo-bronchitis, pneumonitis, and pulmonary edema. Symptoms of inflammation may start hours after the exposure and include cough, dryness and irritation of the nose and throat, headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, chills, and chest pain.
Inhaling cadmium-laden dust quickly leads to respiratory tract and kidney failure..
Ingestion of any significant amount of cadmium causes immediate poisoning and damage to the liver and the kidneys.
Compounds containing cadmium are also carcinogenic.
Bones become soft (osteomalacia), lose bone mineral density (osteoporosis) and become weaker. This causes the pain in the joints and the back, and also increases the risk of fractures. In extreme cases of cadmium poisoning, mere body weight causes a fracture.
The kidneys lose their function to remove acids from the blood in proximal renal tubular dysfunction. The kidney damage inflicted by cadmium poisoning is irreversible and does not heal over time. The proximal renal tubular dysfunction creates low phosphate levels in the blood (hypophosphatemia), causing muscle weakness and sometimes coma. The dysfunction also causes gout, a form of arthritis due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints because of high acidity of the blood (hyperuricemia). Another side effect is increased levels of chloride in the blood (hyperchloremia). The kidneys can also shrink up to 30%.
Other patients lose their sense of smell (anosmia).”
Children as well as adults are susceptible to cadmium poisoning.
Excerpts courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmium_poisoning
Excerpts courtesy of http://news.yahoo.com/ap_us/cadmium_jewelry_factories
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/12/health/main6087982.shtml
Image 1. courtesy of http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/12/health/main6087982.shtml
Image 2. courtesy of http://i.usatoday.net/2010/01/11/cadmiumx.jpg