FJATA is pleased to announce that the first comprehensive Children’s Jewelry Safety Standard, based on the ASTM F2923-11 Specification for Consumer Product Safety for Children’s Jewelry, has passed in both houses of the Rhode Island legislature. On May 9, RI S. 2482 passed unanimously in the senate and yesterday (June 11) RI H. 7652 passed in the house by a margin of 68 to 1 against. This represents a great leap forward in the effort to harmonize state legislation as it pertains to children’s jewelry. Right now, what currently exists is a patchwork of state and federal legislation (not to mention international regulations) that gives manufacturers a moving target with respect to compliance.
In this regard, Rhode Island has become the first state to approve an all-encompassing standard for children’s jewelry, covering cadmium, lead, nickel, heavy metals in surface coatings, magnets, batteries, liquid-filled jewelry, and strangulation. The RI Comprehensive Children’s Jewelry Safety Act will turn the ASTM F2923-11 specification into a legally-binding document in the state. The CPSC has indicated that a decision to fully endorse the ASTM specification would depend on a staff assessment of “the adequacy of the voluntary standard and whether there is substantial compliance with the voluntary standard” (see CPSC HP 10-2 Decision PDF).
With the Comprehensive Children’s Jewelry Safety Act slated for a signature from Governor Chafee, we now have a foundation from which to build further support for additional participation by states. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) sets the standard for lead and phthalates in children’s products, effectively preempting the various state laws that were passed beforehand. Since passage of the CPSIA, cadmium became nearly as media-driven an issue as lead had been, resulting in a series of state laws aimed at reducing the presence of the metal in children’s products.
Unfortunately, these laws were not based strictly on scientific evidence, which showed that cadmium migration from metal is typically very low compared to total content. Connecticut and Maryland have 75ppm by weight cadmium limits going into effect (MD: 7/1/2012, CT: 7/1/2014); Illinois and Minnesota have 75ppm soluble limits in effect; California effected its 300ppm cadmium by weight rule on the first of this year. This complicated picture grows more complicated when it comes to material specifications: which limit should manufacturers meet?
FJATA will be working in the coming months to address the passage of the Comprehensive Children’s Jewelry Safety Act to other states that have conflicting legislation, with the eventual goal of federal preemption. Cheers to the RI legislature for taking this proactive step for our children!