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EcoWaste warns consumers vs toxic lucky charm bracelets ahead of Chinese New Year

TOXICS watchdog EcoWaste Coalition warned consumers against buying lucky charm bracelets that could contain cadmium, as these trinkets become popular with the Chinese New Year celebration set this year on Jan. 22.   

In a statement on Tuesday, the group said it has spotted high levels of cadmium in lucky charm bracelets sold at P50 to P150 in Quiapo, Manila.  

According to the group, most of the lucky charm bracelets have exceeded the 100 parts per million (ppm) limit accepted under European Union (EU) standards.  

“Based on the screening results, 12 of the 15 bracelets contained rabbit-inspired ornaments with cadmium content above the 100 ppm EU limit for cadmium in jewelry: seven had over 100,000 ppm, four had 19,690 to 78,200 ppm, and one had 553 ppm,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.   

Cadmium is a hazardous chemical, with its compounds being listed in the Philippine Priority Chemical list and the 10 chemicals of major public health concern of the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the group.     

“We find the presence of cadmium in products marketed as charms for attracting good health, fortune and happiness very concerning as this substance is known to cause adverse health effects, including cancer,” EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen A. Lucero said.    

“Consumers should be forewarned that some lucky charms, which are often sold without any labeling information, may be laden with hazardous substances like cadmium. Consumers may be exposed to cadmium through the skin or oral contact. Worst, a child may play with and accidentally ingest a cadmium-containing charm if the bracelet is broken or untied,” she added.    

Citing the WHO, the EcoWaste Coalition said that cadmium has toxic effects on the kidneys, and the skeletal and respiratory systems, adding that it is classified as a human carcinogen.    

“The unrestricted sale of cadmium-laden jewelries in the local market is a public health concern. We urge concerned government regulators to take action in order to protect human health,” the group said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave  

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