Someone is looking out for you: the Center of Environmental Health. This California-based group is all about protecting us from yucky toxic chemicals. CEH brought a case against Tween Brands -- a major jewelry retailer -- to reduce the harmful materials in its products, namely cadmium. Because of the suit, starting in January 2012, Tween Brands will eliminate the cadmium from their jewelry. If Tween sells any item that is more than 0.03 percent cadmium (a level which means cadmium was not intentionally added), they will face a fine.
So, what's wrong with cadmium? Let me clarify: if ingested it can damage the kidneys and bones, it causes cancer, and research suggests it can stunt brain development in young people. All. Not. Good.
This reminds us that there are toxins we may not be aware of in the everyday items we use. How to avoid the bad stuff? It's difficult, but one good way is to educate yourself on the toxins we know about already. The CEH is a great starting point to learn more.