Remove All Lead-Contaminated Jewelry from California Stores

Target: Jewelry retailers, suppliers, and distributors

Goal: Protect California residents from the harmful effects of lead by ending the sale of lead contaminated jewelry

Although the dangerous effects of lead on the human body are widely known, lead contamination is still a challenging problem to overcome as evidenced by a recent investigation conducted in California finding alarming levels of lead in jewelry. The investigation has prompted the state to file a lawsuit against 16 companies known to violate lead-free standards by producing, distributing, or selling lead-contaminated jewelry as lead-free to children and adults. The California Department of Toxic Substances has conducted its investigation, spanning the last three years, by visiting stores and testing various jewelry items for lead levels. Repeated warnings have been issued during this time period, but most retailers with lead-contaminated items have not changed their practices and continue to sell these items. Support the state’s efforts by signing this petition demanding lead-contaminated jewelry is removed from all stores.

While some would argue that there are no safe levels of lead in any product, there are very low levels deemed acceptable, which none of the violators in California are close to meeting. Some jewelry items were found to contain more than 1,000 times the legal limit. For adults, the limit is 60,000 parts per million. For children, the legal limit tops out at 600 parts per million. One reason for the discrepancy is the magnitude of the effect lead can have on a child’s developing nervous system. Children exposed to lead are more prone to brain damage, learning disorders, and behavioral problems. Children are also more likely to bite and suck on lead-contaminated jewelry increasing the risk of exposure.

California’s actions against lead-contaminated jewelry are not only important to protect children and adults from lead exposure, but also to protect populations that may not be aware of the harmful effects of lead, or aware that they are purchasing lead-contaminated jewelry. Most of the jewelry found to contain lead is inexpensive and sold in low-income areas. 11% of African American 1-5 year-olds have blood lead levels in the toxic range compared to 6% of all children in that age group.

It is unacceptable to sell jewelry that could harm a person’s life to an unknowing customer in violation of the law. Please sign this petition and demand all stores comply with the law and cease selling lead- contaminated jewelry.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear jewelry retailers, suppliers, and distributors,

Over the past three years, the state of California has conducted an investigation into lead standard violations in jewelry sold throughout the state. Unfortunately, despite repeated warnings, many retailers, suppliers, and distributors are still putting out and selling these products as lead-free. This practice is not only dangerous for children and adults who are exposed, but against the law and must end. The state is filing a lawsuit against 16 companies known to violate lead-free standards this week. However, officials acknowledge that many more companies are likely also violating the law by selling lead-contaminated jewelry. Please end this practice for the sake of your business and your consumer.

Acceptable lead levels in jewelry are very low, particularly for children who are more susceptible to lead exposure because they tend to bite and suck on the jewelry. In addition to children being at a more profound risk of dangerous lead exposure, low-income citizens are also at a greater risk, since most of the lead- contaminated jewelry is inexpensive and sold in low-income areas. It is unacceptable to expose a population unwillingly to a contaminated product.

For the livelihood of your business and the health of your consumers please end the distribution and sale of jewelry to children and adults that violates the acceptable standards of lead.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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Signatures

  • pmidtscJH
  • Carol Gorena
  • jeff hopkins
  • Stefano Serpico
  • dinda evans
  • Phillipa Watson
  • Dana Wong
  • Ms. Marianne A. van Ophuijsen
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