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The World in Medicine
February 17, 2010

Toxic Trinkets

JAMA. 2010;303(7):603. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.150

Some metal charms and other children’s jewelry manufactured in China contain the highly toxic metal cadmium, according to an investigation by the Associated Press (AP) (

The news agency said that after a 2008 US law imposed limits on lead in products for children, some manufacturers in China turned to cadmium, a carcinogen that can cause kidney damage and other problems, as a substitute. Testing of 103 items purchased in US stores revealed that 12 of the trinkets contained at least 10% cadmium; some contained levels as high as 84% to 91% cadmium by weight, the AP reported.

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