After finding out that some of the products that they were selling contained the toxic metal cadmium, Wal-Mart still let customers continue to buy them. Worst of all, these product were children’s jewelry, which meant that they have a lot of potential for causing serious harm to children.
Cadmium in children’s jewelry became a public concern in January when the Associated Press published the results of an investigation that showed items at Wal-mart and other large chains were as much as 91% toxic metal by weight. The items that were tested were children’s jewelry from the Miley Cyrus line and from a series of make-it-yourself metal bracelet charms.
Long-term exposure to cadmium can lead to bone softening and kidney failure, and like lead poisoning, it can also hinder brain development in young children. Which is why it’s so shocking that after this investigation was published, Wal-Mart continued to buy and sell these toxic products until April 9th. At this point, it was requiring suppliers to show through tests at a company-approved lab that children’s jewelry and other children’s products had little cadmium, otherwise they wouldn’t buy it.
However, the products that Wal-Mart had already bought prior to April 9th, and had stocked on its shelves were not tested and could potentially be highly toxic. The reason for leaving these products to be bought by unknowing consumers is that a Wal-Mart executive said it would be too difficult to test the items.
It seems surprising that a huge corporation like Wal-Mart would even consider putting it’s customers into this kind of danger, and especially with products that are targeted for young children. All there is to say about this situation is to be extremely careful with what you buy from Wal-Mart.