Are you sick and tired
from of all that lead in your cheap Chinese junk? Well, get ready for its replacement: Cadmium ! It’s heavy and soft just like lead. And apparently, it’s cheap, too.
Barred from using lead in children’s jewelry because of its toxicity, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting the more dangerous heavy metal cadmium in sparkling charm bracelets and shiny pendants being sold throughout the United States, an Associated Press investigation shows.
The most contaminated piece analyzed in lab testing performed for the AP contained a startling 91 percent cadmium by weight. The cadmium content of other contaminated trinkets, all purchased at national and regional chains or franchises, tested at 89 percent, 86 percent and 84 percent by weight. The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children.
When I was in high school, I scavenged a big puddle of mercury from a giant thermometer. I used to roll it around in my hands for hours. Eventually, the blob got too small – from sticking to stuff, or little bits getting lost – to be any fun anymore. Then I moved on to a big bottle of sulfuric acid…