Yesterday, federal regulators announced a recall of "Best Friends" charm bracelets due to excessive levels of cadmium. And they've promised that these recalls will not be the last as they expand their investigation into children's jewelry that contains the toxic metal cadmium.

The voluntary recall includes about 19,000 "Best Friends" charm bracelet sets made in China and sold exclusively at the jewelry and accessories store Claire's, which has more than 3,000 outlets in North America and Europe.  

An investigation conducted by reporters with the Associated Press revealed that the bracelets contained up to 91 percent cadmium by weight. And what's even more alarming is that these bracelets shed large amounts of the toxic metal during a test that examined how much cadmium children might be exposed to if they accidentally swallowed one of the charms. According to the recall announcement, consumers should take the bracelets away from children and return them to Claire's for a replacement or refund.  

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said future recalls would be the result of voluntary testing by companies, some of which have found troubling levels of cadmium and then reported those results to the agency, Wolfson said. He would not say how many products are under scrutiny.

In addition to the voluntary screening, agency inspectors working at 10 of the nation's largest ports have recently been screening imports of jewelry for cadmium. In one instance, a shipment of Chinese jewelry was turned away.  

Photo: USCPSC/Flickr

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