The Full Story
Recently, children's metal necklaces called "The Princess and the Frog" were recalled because they are made primarily of cadmium. Cadmium is a metal which, if swallowed, can cause kidney and bone damage. Most people swallow some small amount of cadmium in food and water, and there is cadmium in cigarette smoke. But swallowing pieces of cadmium or cadmium toys exposes children to large amounts of cadmium at one time.
To prevent this kind of poisoning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended that parents throw away children's cheap metal jewelry. By extension, parents might consider buying inexpensive jewelry only if they know it's safe. In addition, regulations were put into place concerning cadmium in children's toys and jewelry products.
There are no proven effective treatments for excess cadmium in the body, so preventing cadmium poisoning is the most important thing. If you have questions about cadmium, you can call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
Rose Ann Gould Soloway, RN, BSN, MSEd, DABAT emerita
For More Information
Cadmium (The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)
Åkesson A, Barregard L, Bergdahl IA, Nordberg GF, Nordberg M, Skerfving S. Non-renal effects and the risk assessment of environmental cadmium exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 2014;122:431–438; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307110
Ciesielski T, Weuve J, Bellinger DC, Schwartz J, Lamphear B, Wright RO. Cadmium exposure and neurodevelopmental outcomes in U.S. children. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120:758–763. http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104152
Children put everything into their mouths. The surest way to prevent poisoning by illegally manufactured children's jewelry is to discard cheap metal children's jewelry and not purchase any more.
This Really Happened
There is an association between low-level cadmium exposure in children and the possibility of learning disabilities and the need for special education.