Heavy metals in every day products

FRESNO, Calif.

McDonald's recalled 12 million "Shrek" glasses in June. The designs contained cadmium. This jewelry was also recently recalled because it, too, contained cadmium. And high levels of lead prompted the recall of this book and these belts and coin purses this year as well.

"Children's developing bodies are vulnerable to damage from lead and cadmium. And cadmium exposure over the long-term poses health risks to adults."

Consumer reports, with the help of an outside lab, just tested more than 30 children's and household products that testers suspected might contain heavy metals.

"Most of the products did not contain potentially hazardous levels of lead or cadmium. But two were of particular concern," Bob Tiernan said.

This cell-phone charm from Claire's had very high levels of lead - levels that could be hazardous if it's swallowed by a child.

And two Kidorable bumble-bee raincoats purchased late last year had worrisome levels of lead. Kidorable says it has reformulated the raincoats - and they're now labeled "lead-free."

"Our tests of coats labeled "lead-free" found only low or trace amounts of lead - well below federal limits," Tiernan said.

But consumer reports says "lead-free" assurances are not necessarily a guarantee. Jewelry-maker Christine Canny says these beads, purchased from china, were marketed as "lead-free."

Suspicious, she decided to have them tested. "And they all came back with high amounts of lead," said Canny.

As a general rule of thumb, consumer reports says don't let children play with cheap metal jewelry - or even your keys. Brass keys can contain lead.

So despite tough standards on lead, consumer reports says potentially hazardous products are still making their way into the marketplace.

The consumer product safety commission is currently working on restrictions for cadmium.

To see if any of the toys you own have been recalled, you can go to the consumer product safety commission's website www.cpsc.gov.

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