Regulators find jewelry with dangerous amounts of lead for sale in Southland

State regulators say they’ve found dozens of varieties of jewelry that contain dangerous amounts of lead for sale at Southland stores and wholesalers. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

State regulators say they’ve found dozens of varieties of jewelry that contain dangerous amounts of lead for sale at Southland stores and wholesalers. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

Molly Peterson: Most of the items came from China. Many carry labels that declare them lead-free – even though some necklaces and earrings contained more than a hundred times the state’s limit for the metal in jewelry.

California’s banned lead in children’s jewelry for a year and a half. Kids who ingest lead by putting objects in their mouths can absorb it much faster – and can suffer brain or other impairment as a result.

The state has expanded the original ban to include adult jewelry and piercings, but the Department of Toxic Substances Control lacks the authority to demand a recall of the products. Instead, importers and stores in Vernon, Glendale, Northridge, Panorama City, and L.A. have promised to stop selling the jewelry, to dispose of it safely, and to ask their suppliers for proof that merchandise meets California standards from now on.

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