In my 02/06/09 post I gave some information on the new Lead Law. Not much has changed since then but things have become clearer in regard to jewelry for children. I personally have decided not to make jewelry for children. The rules are hard to follow for a small business like I have.
I found the best information at the Rings and Things website. http://www.rings-things.com/jewelry-safety.html They explain the new law thus:
The shorthand version of the new law is this: Starting on February 10, 2009, manufacturers and sellers of children's jewelry (including crafters) will need to have an accredited laboratory test their jewelry and certify that it's within allowable lead limits. The first stage of the law allows an upper limit of 600PPM (parts per million) of lead. In August, 2009, the allowable amount of lead will drop to 300PPM, and in August 2011 it will drop again to 100PPM if the US government "determines this level to be feasible."
Fortunately, one of the changes provides a list some obvious items that need not be tested because they inherently do not contain lead. This was one of the problems before. These items are exempt.
* Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald
* Semi-precious gemstones, "provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead or lead compounds and is not associated in nature with any mineral that is based on lead or lead compounds" (unacceptable stones include aragonite, bayldonite, boleite, cerussite, crocoite, linarite, mimetite, phosgenite, vanadinite & wulfenite).
* Natural or cultured pearls
* Natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, hemp, flax and linen
* Other natural materials including coral, amber, feathers, fur and untreated leather.
"The Commission also 'preliminarily determines that the following metals and alloys do not exceed the 600 ppm or 300 ppm lead content limits under section 101(a) of the CPSIA provided that no lead or lead-containing metal is intentionally added':
* Surgical steel
* Precious metals: gold (at least 10 karat), sterling silver (at least 925/1000), platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, iridium and ruthenium"
One item that is not mentioned is Swarovski Crystals, a common jewelry component. It is the lead in the crystals that give them the desired sparkle. While it would seem that unless the crystal was pulverized and swallowed the lead would not be a problem. While that seems reasonable it has not been proven and therefore not exempt.
You can read more on the CPSC web site. It is very readable. (for a government web site ;-)
Thanks to Rings and Things for condensing the information to an understandable and concise form.
PS The picture doesn't have anything to do with the post. Just a nice bracelet and earring set. And I can't get those beads anymore. Darn.