reports on lead based jewelry which has already caused one fatality:

According to California’s Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, the “landmark settlement is a success story showing how Proposition 65, California’s premier right-to-know law, protects our families and communities from the health risks resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment. The power of the law is stimulating the costume jewelry industry to employ methods to reduce and eliminate lead from their products in order to avoid having to warn consumers about the health risks.”

According to the settlement, defendants must meet new standards for lead-free and low-lead jewelry no later than 2008 or have their sales halted in the state.

Companies that entered the settlement include Burlington Coat Factory, CBI Distributing, Claire’s Boutiques, Claire’s Stores, Express, Federated Department Stores, J.C. Penney, KMart, Macy’s West, Mervyn’s, Nordstrom, Ross, Sears, Target, and Toys R Us. Remaining as litigants are Wal-Mart, Jordache, Cornerstone Apparel (Papaya stores), the Gerson Company, and Royal Items.

The total fine equals 1.7 million dollars. Expect tougher new laws regarding the labeling and sale of products with lead in them, given the tragic death of a 4-year old child in Minnesota.

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