For almost three years, Environmental Services & Solutions Corporation (Essco – Safety Check) has been providing elemental testing services to moms & dads, homeowners, businesses and industries, to help them “know what is in their environment.” We have performed tens of thousands of tests and have collected extensive data about consumer products and the elements that are present in them. We are a small company trying to help people and businesses, improving lives and create jobs all with the use of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzers and a proprietary software suite to collect and analyze data.
In October 2009, Essco Safety Check participated in the Northwest Children’s Environmental Health Forum by presenting data on heavy metals found in children’s products. This data was analyzed for specific elements (cadmium and lead) and then the results were shared with Associated Press reporter Justin Pritchard over November and December of 2009. Here is a link to our typical findings from an in-home inspection.
On January 10th, 2010, Justin Pritchard wrote an article “AP: Feds probe cadmium in kids’ jewelry from China.” Apparently, the Associated Press conducted their own independent testing (based on initial data supplied from Essco Safety Check and HealthyStuff.org) of children’s jewelry purchased in New York, Ohio, Texas and California. Their testing was conducted by chemistry professor Jeff Weidenhamer of Ashland University of Ohio, who has worked with the CPSC in the past. The results found cadmium in children’s jewelry at a level of 100,000 PPM (10%) or greater in 12 percent of the 103 items tested.
On January 29th, 2010, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of children’s metal necklaces because of high levels of cadmium. In corporation with F.A.F. of Greenville, R.I. about 55,000 units were recalled. The products recalled are shaped as a frog pendant or metal crown on a metal chain necklace. The model #’s are 4616-4187 & 4616-4190 with UPC #’s 72783367144 & 72783367147. These items were sold exclusively at Wal-Mart Stores nationwide from November 2009 to January 2010 for approximately $5.
Yesterday, April 26th, 2010 Wal-Mart issued a statement on cadmium and new testing standards that all Wal-Mart suppliers will have to comply with. These standards are more stringent than the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and all toys, child care articles, children’s costume jewelry and children’s jewelry craft making kits tested on or after April 9th, 2010 are now required to meet Wal-Mart’s new voluntary standards.
The new testing standards will be modeled similarly to the European Union, EN 71-3:1995 “Safety of toys – Part 3: Migration of Certain Elements” but will not affect what is currently on the store shelves.
In short, this means that the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is now imposing new testing standards to help protect consumers from cadmium; this is a very good thing. These new standards are taking affect immediately and will help prevent toxic toys, jewelry and other children’s products from reaching the marketplace. There is a feeling of “wow and awe” that a small environmental testing company (Essco Safety Check) who shared data about children’s products and the heavy metals we found in them, can impact the largest retailer in the world. The data shared lead to an investigation by the Associated Press and now, today, Wal-Mart has issued new testing standards that all suppliers must meet.
Do you know what is in your environment? Know what is in your environment and mitigate harm.