Amazon has agreed to increase its quality management criteria for school supplies and children’s jewelry to make sure they don’t contain illegal levels of lead and cadmium.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson stated Thursday that Amazon agreed to the improvements after an investigation by his office found dozens of things that tested above legal levels for the toxic metals. As part of the compromise, Amazon has also agreed to pay $700,000, which will be utilized to fund future environmental protection efforts.
The researchers identified 51 products with extreme lead and cadmium content after two rounds of testing. Some pen cases (such as the one shown in the photo below) include 3,660 ppm of lead, for instance, which is 36 times higher than the federal legal limit and also contained 1150 ppm of cadmium which is more than 28 times over the state legal limit for cadmium.
“As a parent, when I buy products for my kids, I expect them to be safe,” Ferguson said in a statement. “All retailers must ensure that their products do not pose a threat to Washington children. If they don’t, they will hear from my office.”
When Amazon informed of the investigation’s findings, it urged buyers to arrange the toxic items and issued over $200,000 in refunds.
“Customer safety is Amazon’s top priority,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “We work closely with our selling partners to verify that the school supplies and children’s jewelry in our store are safe, and drive continuous improvement to our processes to verify the safety of these products. We welcome ongoing collaboration with the attorney general and other agencies to promote customer safety.”
Sellers wouldn’t have the ability to list their stock without evidence that they’re safe. Also, if the Washington AG or Department of Ecology warn Amazon about a product which exceeds the metals’ legal levels, Amazon would have to take out the listing in no more than two days.