Many teens like to shop at stores such as Claire's, Ardene, Aldo, Old Navy, and the gap. However, most teens do not know that some of their favorite stores are selling jewelry with cadmium. Cadmium is a toxic substance that brand names use as a way to save money for their company. I was watching CBC's Marketplace when this topic showed up. They got teen girls to buy accessories from their favorite stores and found large amounts of cadmium in their pick of jewelry. Parents had no idea because they assumed that such large companies that produce these products would be following safety protocols and knew what they were selling. The crew followed a bunch of addresses to where Ardene is making their jewelry and it led them to a basement rented place in a residential neighborhood in China. Not only that, but the people working in this underground company knew the risks of Cadmium, but those workers needed a job and the money to support their family despite the risk they were taking. Then, when the crew tried to speak with the company CEO/ manager they had thrown them out of the building. Most teens and preteens are unaware of these risks when buying these products.
Cadmium: This soft, silvery-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc, and mercury.
Now, I don't know about 94% of you but I remember learning in third-grade science class that mercury is very toxic and that if a thermometer breaks it could hurt you. Of course, teachers would say this a precaution, but if you believe and know that Mercury is toxic then why are you shopping at stores that make jewelry made from cadmium. This video was three years ago, but has it changed much since? It is not just Ardene that has fallen to be a user of Cadmium, well known and well thought of companies such as Aldo also uses Cadmium in their products. Luckily stores such as Old Navy and H&M do not use this chemical in their jewelry. Many companies were using this material to get a cheaper price for importing goods.
According to NCBI, "Acute or chronic ingesting of cadmium salts is rare, but it may lead to death. The lowest lethal dose of Cd is 5 gr in a 70 kg man." In case if you do not know, that is a very low dosage for someone to take in and die. Most of the jewelry tested they found that 99% of the jewelry was made of Cadmium. Luckily, this problem was addressed and some of these companies had changed their standards. What baffled me most was how the Canada health regulation person was trying hard to twist his words around, so no one would know the truth that they do not know what products are going into stores. In the past years, there have been recalling products over and over again because children were swallowing earrings and ending up in the hospital, but of course, the companies try and cover it up as best as possible. Still, have a hard time believing me? Well... watch the video yourself.
I have a newfound respect for those that work in the media. Thanks to the guys in the above video, the companies had to change how they were making jewelry because no one likes bad publicity. Media has changed the way we see things and they can make a positive change in our lives.