I love to make jewelry and I especially love working with wire and metal. I am very careful about products that I purchase for the my jewelry, and I always try to avoid anything manufactured in China. I have nothing against the Chinese people, but their standards have proven to be very poor and I don't feel safe wearing ornaments made with dangerous metals. After all, chemicals are easily transmitted through the skin, which is why medicinal patches are so effective.
Today one of my favorite bloggers, Cynthia Deis, who also owns a jewelry supply business, quoted a story in the News & Observer, reporting that China now manufactures jewelry with dangerous amounts of cadmium. The US has cracked down on imports with lead in them, so China has simply substituted a different, though just as hazardous, metal in their exported jewelry.
According to the news story, cadmium can hinder brain development in children. You can read Cynthia's blog here and the entire news story here.
My daughter and I were in Macy's yesterday, looking at some very cute Lucky Brand bracelets. The young sales person, who was visibly pregnant, joined us in reading the tags. One warned, "Not to be used by people under the age of 12." I mentioned that it probably contained lead or some other dangerous chemical, and the sales person looked horrified. Just a guess, but it might be something that I will check out about Lucky Brand jewelry.