The use of cadmium in metal jewellery products, plastics and paint is restricted by the REACH Directive as of December 2011. This has significantly added to the testing burden on fashion accessory suppliers who are already testing for nickel and lead.
Lead and cadmium testing by the full method is costly due to the delicate scraping and disassembly of an item into components and coatings which can result in a rainbow coloured beaded necklace having upward of 50 components to be tested. To overcome this problem The Laboratory has developed an innovative screening test to determine whether lead or cadmium are present in an article.
The screening test analyses composite components for either lead or cadmium or both. If no cadmium or lead is shown, it assumes the whole component to be compliant.
Trace cadmium or lead would result in resubmission for a full test, but where items are specified to be lead and cadmium free this is a fast and low cost option.