Friday, November 16, 2007

Kmart's lead jewelry - slow learners

Kmart's low priced jewelry turns out to have a lot of lead in it, even the pieces labeled lead free. It's safe to assume they're manufactured in China, since everything is.

No great surprise, but they handled it surprisingly badly (emphases mine)...
Kmart Items Marked Safe Had Lead - New York Times

... Ms. Johnson took the [lead detection] machine home to practice using it. On a whim, she aimed it at her daughter’s new earrings. Every part of the “lead free” jewelry contained lead, she said. One piece, a metal charm hanging from a necklace, contained 520,000 parts per million of lead. By comparison, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering a ban on children’s jewelry with concentrations of lead higher than 600 parts per million, said Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the commission.

“As a mother, it really frightens me that there’s something that looks completely benign that could kill my child,” Ms. Johnson said.

She said she complained to Kmart a month ago but received no response. She also filed a complaint with the safety commission. Ms. Johnson has not yet received any word from the commission, which does not comment on specific complaints.

“If we were to find a product with 52 percent total lead, it would be recalled immediately,” Mr. Wolfson said. “That would be a dangerous product for children.”

The jewelry is marketed to adults and is not intended for children, Mr. Brathwaite said in his statement. Kmart declined to disclose which companies make or supply the Accessories line.
Kmart must be taking stupid pills. They should have come up with a much smarter response.

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