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Toxic Metal Found in Jewelry Sold at Nordstrom Rack, Ross, and Papaya

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The Center for Environmental Health has discovered that some jewelry made by Tracera and Vibe Sportswear brands are nearly 100% cadmium. Cadmium is a malleable metal known to cause cancer and targets the body's cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems. Under the California's Proposition 65, businesses must inform consumers about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer or other reproductive harm.

In 2010, Chinese manufacturers were found to be making kids' jewelry out of cadmium. California law currently states that jewelry made for kids can not contain more than .03 percent cadmium. The metal had virtually disappeared from products sold in the US by 2012. No laws address cadmium in adult jewelry yet.

Most of the tainted items were sold at Ross, which has more than 1,400 stores in 38 states. According to the lab tests, 31 adult jewelry items were at least 40 percent cadmium, and most were more than 90 percent. A pendant from a necklace chain was 100 percent cadmium.

Steven Kim, an attorney representing Papaya, said the company has recalled the products where contamination was found and stopped buying from the manufacturer in China.

Nordstrom spokeswoman Emily Sterken said the company is reaching out to the vendors to "make them aware of the situation and get more information on these items."

The manufacturers had no comment.

Sources: 1, 2

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