Skip to Menu Skip to Search Contact Us Global Websites & Languages Skip to Content

California is proposing to amend its Metal-Containing Jewelry law. The proposal includes a new definition for children’s jewelry and strengthening requirements for lead and cadmium.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 080/19

Fashion Bracelet

In 2006, California enacted the Lead-Containing Jewelry Law (AB 1681, 2006) to restrict lead in jewelry, a landmark piece of legislation derived from a Proposition 65 (Prop 65) consent judgment involving several major retailers for failing to provide a Prop 65 warning under this unique right-to-know law.

The Lead-Containing Jewelry Law codified the lead standards and methods from the judgment, including a specific set of materials for body piercing jewelry and the use of three categories of materials (Classes 1, 2 and 3) in the manufacture of non-body piercing jewelry products (‘Chilldren’s Jewelry’ and ‘All Other Jewelry’)

Since its enactment, the Lead-Containing Jewelry Law has been amended on several occasions. These included, among other things, the following:

  • Expanding the scope of jewelry to include certain watch-related products, and attachments to shoes or clothing that can be removed and may be used as ornaments, and tie clips
  • Requiring manufacturers to certify their products are compliant with the law
  • Restriction of cadmium content in children’s jewelry
  • Renaming the law to ‘Metal-Containing Jewelry Law’

In February 2019, California introduced the SB 647 bill to revise its Metal-Containing Jewelry law. The proposal is now set for a third reading in the Senate and contains important changes, including:

Interestingly, the three categories of materials, Classes 1, 2 and 3, have been deleted and the specifications for body piercing jewelry remains unchanged. 

It is important to note that the language may change during its passage in the legislature.

Highlights of the proposal as amended (version April 11, 2019) are summarized in Table 1.

Scope of Jewelry Requirement
Children's jewelry
(15 years and younger)

≤ 90 ppm lead (surface coatings)
≤100 ppm lead (accessible components)

≤ 75 ppm soluble cadmium (surface coatings)
≤ 300 ppm cadmium (components)

Body piercing jewelry

Materials to be used:

  • A dense low-porosity plastic, including, but not limited to, Tygon, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), if the plastic contains no intentionally added lead
  • Niobium (Nb)
  • Solid 14 karat or higher white or yellow nickel-free gold
  • Solid platinum
  • Surgical implant grade of titanium
 All other jewelry

 Materials to be used:

  • Adhesive
  • Elastic, fabric, ribbon, or string with no intentionally added lead
  • Glass, ceramics, or crystal decorative components, including cat’s eyes, cubic zirconia, including cubic zirconium (CZ), and cloisonné
  • Gemstones that are cut and polished for ornamental purposes, excluding aragonite, bayldonite, boleite, cerussite, crocoite, ekanite, linarite, mimetite, phosgenite, samarskite, vanadinite and wulfenite
  • Karat gold
  • Natural decorative materials, including amber, bone, coral, feathers, fur, horn, shell or wood in their natural state and no treated with lead
  • Natural or cultured pearls
  • Platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium and osmium)
  • Stainless or surgical steels
  • Sterling silver

otherwise:

≤ 200 ppm lead (plastics or rubber, including acrylic, polystyrene, plastic beads and stone, and polyvinyl choride (PVC)

≤ 500 ppm lead (electroplated metals, unplated metals unless otherwise listed, dyes or surface coatings, and other materials)

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +(852) 2774 7420

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry

© SGS Group Management SA - 2019 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.