RAPEX, the EU Rapid alert system for dangerous non-food consumer products, has recently revealed a number of jewellery items that were intended for the UK market that did not comply with Cadmium restrictions and as such, would have posed a harmful risk to purchasers.
Cadmium is widely used in the jewellery industry, despite having long been recognised as a toxin, known carcinogen and harmful when it is ingested or inhaled. As a result of these properties, the EU extended the restrictions on Cadmium in the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Directive in December 2011.
The regulation restricts cadmium content in jewellery to 0.01% (100 mg/kg) by weight of metal and this applies to âmetal beads and other metal jewellery components, metal parts of jewellery and imitation jewellery articles and hair accessories (i.e. bracelets, necklaces, rings, piercing jewellery, wrist-watches, wrist-wear, hair accessories, brooches, cufflinks)â. Jewellers at all stages of the supply chain clearly need to respond by ensuring their products are compliant.
Of the items identified by RAPEX one in particular poses a major chemical risk in relation to its levels of cadmium due to the metal material of a component containing 81-91 % of cadmium, massively exceeding the limit of 0.01%.
The items have since been removed from the market place.
The Laboratory At The Birmingham Assay Office is UKAS accredited to carry out Cadmium testing and can offer both a reference and quick screening test to help ensure that products are below the legal limit and safe for the market place.
For further information on Cadmium and Lead testing or any other testing matters please contact Steve Franklin on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0871 871 6020.