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High Levels of Cadmium in Children's Jewelry

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The presence of the toxic metal cadmium in Chinese-made children's jewelry is being investigated by U.S. officials.

Product safety authorities pledged to "take action as quickly as possible to protect the safety of children," the Associated Press reported.

The move comes after lab tests showed that the cadmium content of some pieces of children's jewelry ranged from 84 to 91 percent by weight, and that some of the items easily shed the heavy metal, according to the AP.

Along with being a known carcinogen, cadmium can hinder brain development in very young children. Youngsters can get persistent, low-level doses of cadmium by biting or sucking jewelry with a high level of the toxic metal.

On Sunday, the AP reported that some Chinese manufacturers substitute cadmium for lead in inexpensive charm bracelets and pendants sold in the United States.

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