Rhode Island Passes Children's Jewelry Law

Jewelry Must Conform to ASTM Specification F2923-11

The state of Rhode Island now requires that children's jewelry manufactured after Dec. 18, 2012, conforms to the requirements of ASTM standard F2923-11, Specification for Consumer Product Safety for Children's Jewelry.

The law, known as the Comprehensive Children's Jewelry Safety Act, notes that "children's jewelry means jewelry designed or intended primarily for use by children 12 years old or younger, to be worn as an item of personal ornamentation."

ASTM F2923 was developed by Subcommittee F15.24 on Jewelry, which is part of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products. Originally approved in 2011, ASTM F2923 establishes requirements and test methods for specified elements and certain mechanical hazards in children's jewelry. ASTM F2923 includes recommendations for age labeling and warnings, guidelines for identifying the primary intended users of the jewelry and descriptions of numerous possible hazards posed by children's jewelry.

"In passing this act, Rhode Island has become the first state to approve an all-encompassing standard for children's jewelry," says Brent Cleaveland, executive director, Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association, and chairman of F15.24. "The legislation, based on F2923, covers cadmium, lead, nickel, heavy metals in surface coatings, magnets, batteries, liquid-filled jewelry and breakaway necklaces."

Cleaveland notes that six U.S. states currently have laws regulating cadmium to different levels, but that these laws were adopted before the development of ASTM F2923 and do not reflect the most current science.

"The new law in Rhode Island provides a foundation for the effort to harmonize the current patchwork of legislation, and the cadmium requirements within it are similar to those in ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety," says Cleaveland.

Noting the contributions of the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association in the development of ASTM F2923, Rhode Island Senator James Sheehan, the jewelry bill's sponsor, said, "As a parent, I am very concerned about the safety of children's products. I was happy to sponsor a new law that sets safety standards for children's jewelry. I thank FJATA for raising awareness about this issue during our legislative session."

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