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California implements measures to amend its Metal-Containing Jewelry Law. The more stringent set of limits will become effective on June 1, 2020.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 141/19

Woman with Earrings

In February 2019, California introduced Senate Bill 647 (SB 647) to revise its Metal-Containing Jewelry Law (Safeguard 80/19).

On September 27, 2019, the governor of California signed the SB 647 bill (Chapter 379, 2019) into law to revise and recast the provisions relating to authorized materials for the manufacture of jewelry and children’s jewelry. This comprehensive new law contains, inter alia, a number of important changes:

  • Adopting federal standards for lead content in children’s jewelry
  • New definition for children – from ‘children six years of age and younger’ to ‘persons under 15 years of age’
  • Establishing soluble cadmium for surface coatings on children’s jewelry
  • Strengthening the lead content limit for certain materials to align with those falling under entry 63 to Annex XVII of Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) in the European Union
  • Removing the three categories of authorized materials – Class 1, 2 and 3 materials
  • Requiring glass and crystal components to be crushed or grounded to powder prior to hydrofluoric acid mediated digestion using EPA 3052 or an equivalent method
  • Requiring certification containing certain information to attest that the jewelry is complying – a manufacturer or supplier may either provide the certification to a person who sells or offers for sale that jewelry, or display the certification prominently on the shipping container or on the jewelry packaging
  • Containing two sets of requirements for jewelry – the more stringent set of limits will become effective on June 1, 2020

According to the definitions in the new law, jewelry means any of the following ornaments worn by a person:

  1. An anklet, arm cuff, bracelet, brooch, chain, crown, cuff link, hair accessory, earring, necklace, pin, ring, tie clip, body piercing jewelry, jewelry placed in the mouth for display or ornament
  2. Any bead, chain, link, pendant, or other component of an ornament in point i above
  3. A charm, bead, chain, link, pendant, or other attachment to shoes or clothing that can be removed and may be used as a component of an ornament in point i above
  4. A watch in which a timepiece is a component of an ornament in point i above, excluding the timepiece itself if the timepiece can be removed from the ornament

Highlights of SB 647 and a comparison between the two sets of jewelry requirements and their operative dates are summarized in Table 1.

California SB 647, (Chapter 379, 2019)
An act to amend sections 25214.1, 25214.2, 25214.3.1, 25214.4 and 25214.4.1 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to Hazardous Substances: Metal-Containing Jewelry
Scope of Jewelry Requirement Requirement
Children’s jewelry (under 15 years of age) ≤ 90 ppm lead (surface coatings)
≤ 100 ppm lead (accessible components)

≤ 75 ppm soluble cadmium (surface coatings)
≤ 300 ppm cadmium content (components)
≤ 90 ppm lead (surface coatings)
≤ 100 ppm lead (accessible components)

≤ 75 ppm soluble cadmium (surface coatings)
≤ 300 ppm cadmium content (components)
Body piercing jewelry that is not children’s jewelry

Materials to be used:

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

Materials to be used:

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

Materials to be used:

  • Stainless or surgical steel
  • Karat gold
  • Sterling silver
  • Platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium or osmium)
  • Natural or cultured pearls
  • Glass, ceramic, or crystal decorative components, including cat’s eyes, cubic zirconia, including cubic zirconium (CZ), rhinestones 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
  • Elastics, fabrics, ribbons, ropes or strings with no intentionally added lead
  • Natural decorative materials, including amber, bone, coral, feathers, fur, horn, shell or wood in their natural state and not treated with lead
  • Adhesives

< 200 ppm lead (plastics or rubber, including acrylic, polystyrene, plastic beads and stones, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC))

< 6% lead (electroplated metals)
< 1.5% lead (unplated metals not otherwise listed)

< 600 ppm lead (dyes, surface coatings or other materials)

Materials to be used:

  • Stainless or surgical steel
  • Karat gold
  • Sterling silver
  • Platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium or osmium)
  • Natural or cultured pearls
  • Glass, ceramic, or crystal decorative components, including cat’s eyes, cubic zirconia, including cubic zirconium (CZ), rhinestones 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
  • Elastics, fabrics, ribbons, ropes or strings with no intentionally added lead
  • Natural decorative materials, including amber, bone, coral, feathers, fur, horn, shell or wood in their natural state and not treated with lead
  • Adhesives

< 200 ppm lead (plastics or rubber, including acrylic, polystyrene, plastic beads and stones, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC))

< 500 ppm lead (electroplated metals, unplated metals not otherwise listed, dyes, surface coatings or other materials)

Remark
Will become inoperative on June 1, 2020
(will be repealed as of January 1, 2021)
Will become operative on June 1, 2020

Table 1

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Next Step

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements for the Metal-Containing Jewelry Law for California.

For enquiries, please contact:

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

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