Companies that make or import products containing the toxic metal cadmium can still withhold from disclosure health and toxicity studies they may have conducted, but not published. That's the effect of EPA's action, announced December 14, 2012, to withdraw a just-issued rule requiring such studies to be reported.
Concern over cadmium goes back to before 2010, when an Associated Press investigation revealed that cadmium was being used in many kinds of children's jewelry, often imported from China. Some Chinese factories were substituting cadmium for lead, the subject of earlier recalls. In response to the AP reporting, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued some warnings and recalls. EPA can theoretically regulate toxics in consumer products under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which requires reporting and disclosure of some health information. Under TSCA, EPA can require companies to report relevant health studies, although the companies can claim the studies are trade secrets in an effort to keep EPA from disclosing them to the public.
EPA had on December 3, 2012, published a final rule requiring reporting of unpublished cadmium-related health and safety studies by manufacturers and importers. This rule prompted industry objections. EPA's withdrawal of the rule was published in the Federal Register December 28, 2012.
- "US EPA Withdraws Reporting Rule on Cadmium," Chemical Watch, December 14, 2012.
- "Cadmium Association Seeks More Time To Weigh in on Final Data-Collection Rule," Chemical Regulation Reporter, Bloomberg BNA, December 10, 2012, by Pat Rizzuto.
- "Cadmium in Jewelry: Federal Regulators Failed To Protect Children from Cancer-Causing Metals," Associated Press, October 14, 2012, by Justin Pritchard.
- "Jewelry Maker Makes Bracelets Safer for Kids," Associated Press, March 22, 2011.
- "Kids' Jewelry May Pose Cadmium Poison Risk," ABC News, March 4, 2011, by Courtney Hutchison.
- "Tween Brands Recalls Children's Metal Jewelry Due to High Levels of Cadmium," Recall Owl, July 13, 2010. Other posts on recalls related to cadmium are cited at this address.
- "Shrek Glasses Recalled Due to Cadmium Risk," OnSafety blog, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, June 4, 2010, by "CPSC Blogger." Other CPSC posts about cadmium are at the same address.
- "Toxic Cadmium Swapped for Lead in Jewelry," AP/CBS News, February 18, 2010.
- "China Jewelry Makers Defend Use of Cadmium," Associated Press, January 13, 2010.
- "Health and Safety Data Reporting; Addition of Certain Chemicals; Withdrawal of Final Rule," Federal Register, December 28, 2012, pp. 76419-20.
- "Unpublished Health and Safety Studies," Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, US Environmental Protection Agency, accessed January 2, 2013.