LOS ANGELES — In the first settlement of its kind, national jewelry seller Tween Brands Inc. will effectively eliminate the toxic metal cadmium from the bracelets, necklaces, and other items it sells.
The agreement covers jewelry sold in California, but given the size of the state’s market, it becomes company policy nationally. It covers jewelry intended for children, teens, and adults, expanding the age range from the preteen girls who had been the focus of concern after high levels of cadmium in jewelry surfaced over the past year.
Last July, Tween recalled about 137,000 pieces of jewelry that had been made in China due to unspecified high levels of cadmium. While test results from that recall have not been publicly released, some of the five other cadmium jewelry recalls orchestrated last year by the Consumer Product Safety Commission involved pieces that were more than 90 percent cadmium, according to laboratory testing conducted for the Associated Press.
Under the agreement, starting in January 2012, Tween faces fines if it sells jewelry that is more than 0.03 percent cadmium. A state judge still needs to approve the settlement.