Settlement to help limit toxic cadmium in jewelry

September 6, 2011 - 1:55 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 20 major national retailers, including Target Corp. and Gap Inc., have reached a settlement with a California environmental group that would almost entirely eliminate the use of the toxic metal cadmium in jewelry and other accessories.

Cadmium is a known carcinogen which also can attack the kidneys and bones. Some manufacturers of children's metal jewelry were using it instead of lead, which Congress had effectively banned.

The legal agreement, approved by a judge Friday, is between the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health and 26 retailers and suppliers.

Starting in 2012, jewelry sold at the stores in California must contain less than three-hundreths of a percent of cadmium. Because of the size of California's market, that effectively becomes a national standard.

The settlement applies to children's and adult jewelry.