This legislation prohibits the sale of children’s jewelry when it contains more than 40 parts per million (ppm) of lead, but less than 600 ppm of lead, unless a warning statement indicating the product contains lead is present.
The inclusion of a warning on the jewelry or the jewelry’s container, highlights the harms associated with lead, and allows parents to be aware of the toxin before purchasing the product, or, if purchased, allows them to be hyper vigilant in ensuring children do not put the jewelry in their mouth.
This danger in children’s jewelry comes from the fact that children are far more susceptible to the effects of environmental toxins like lead due to their unique mannerisms, such as hand to mouth behavior, and their continuing developing systems. It therefore takes lower levels of contact with environmental toxins to cause health effects in children than it would for an adult. According to the report, New York State’s Children and the Environment, by the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai, lead is linked to arrested developmental processes in the brain that can lead to permanent and irreversible consequences.
While this bill does much to protect children from the very real health impacts caused by lead, one limitation included in the bill pulls back these protections. Limiting the use of a warning when the component parts of the jewelry containing lead are “inaccessible to the child through normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse” provides the opportunity for abuse of the bill’s intent, and cuts into the consumer’s ability to weigh the risks of lead when deciding whether or not to purchase the jewelry.
This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law by requiring children’s jewelry that contains a certain amount of lead be labeled with a warning stating such contents before being sold.