As the Chinese New Year draws near, the EcoWaste Coalition (EWC) has warned the public of buying lucky charm bracelets containing cadmium (Cd) — a cancer-causing chemical.
In a statement, the group said that cadmium was found after analyzing nine bracelets bought in Binondo and Quiapo Manila.
Out of nine samples, EcoWaste experts detected excessive levels of cadmium in eight bracelets using an advanced Olympus Vanta M Series X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer.
Out of eight samples, one sample contained 5,800 parts per million (ppm) of cadmium, whereas the other seven contained cadmium in the 139,900 to 389,900 ppm range. The European Union limits cadmium in jewelry metal parts to 0.01 percent by weight or 100 ppm.
EcoWaste Coalition Chemical Safety Campaigner Thony Dizon warned the public of cadmium exposure through dermal contact or licking.
“Children can be exposed to cadmium, especially if the cadmium-laden tiger is sucked by a child or if it is detached from the bracelet and is swallowed by a child,” Dizon said.
Instead, he advised luck seekers to look for an alternative and find luck in a healthy lifestyle, hard work, prayers, and kind deeds.
On May 6, 2021, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued a chemical control order (CCO) for cadmium and its derivatives.
Cadmium is on the government’s Priority Chemicals List (PCL), which includes chemicals considered hazardous to the environment or public health.