Investigation by NY Attorney General's Office Finds Excessive Lead in Children's Jewelry-Making Kits

Schneiderman is calling for a recall of the products after lab tests found certain pieces contained nearly 10 times the amount of lead allowable by federal law

Investigation by NY Attorney General's Office Finds Excessive Lead in Children's Jewelry-Making Kits
Image: Pixabay
April 25, 2016

An investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office found high levels of lead in jewelry-making kits sold in major retailers throughout the state.

In some instances, Cra-Z-Art jewelry kits tested by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office had lead up to 10-times greater than the federal child safety limit of 100 parts per million (ppm). Schneiderman called for a federal investigation into the products and asked that major retailers – including Amazon -- pull the toys from their shelves.

As part of an ongoing investigation, several toys were purchased from K-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us stores throughout the state and tested to determine if they complied with lead safety laws. Testing found that pieces included in the kits, made by LaRose Industries, contained lead levels of 120 to 980ppm.

Lead is a highly toxic substance that can cause developmental and learning disabilities in children. While children's products sold in the U.S. must be less than 100ppm, heath professionals believe there is no safe level of lead exposure.

In a New York Times piece on the investigation, LaRose Industries advertising vice president Charlie Zakin said that the company was unaware of the investigation and that all the items passed rigorous safety testing and conform to all regulatory standards.

Schneiderman's office doesn't have the authority to force a recall; the only government body that can do so is the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The federal agency opened up its own investigation shortly after Schneiderman's announcement.

Retailers and manufacturers can voluntarily issue their own recalls without government intervention.

"In addition to calling for immediate action to remove these products from store shelves, my office will investigate – and hold accountable – those responsible for allowing toxic products to reach our children," Schneiderman said in a written statement. "No parents should have to worry that a toy they buy may poison their child."

The kits that had wristbands with high lead levels include:

  • Shimmer N' Sparkle Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Jewelz Gem Creations Ultimate Gem Machine
  • Shimmer N' Sparkle Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Jewelz Gem Creations Gem Charm and Slider Bracelets
  • My Look Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Jewelz Gem Creations Ultimate Gem Machine

More information about the individual products and where they were sold can be found here.