Cadmium, a metal that is toxic if ingested or inhaled, has come under fire from the Canadian Ministry of Health. The Ministry has asked manufacturers to cease all use of this metal in the manufacture of jewelry intended for children. In France, cadmium is still approved for the manufacture of many everyday objects such as disposable batteries and rechargeable batteries.
According to the INRS (the National Research and Safety Institute), if ingested, mineral salts containing cadmium can lead to renal insufficiency and, in massive doses, to death within 24 hours. Health Canada expects manufacturers to stop using cadmium in objects intended for children. Any child who sucks, chews or swallows jewelry could potentially suffer serious undesirable effects due to cadmium exposure, Canadian authorities point out.
If this request is not followed, the Ministry is reserving the right to put in place a federal regulation process; in other words, the use of this metal by manufacturers may be banned by means of legislation.