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Archive for January 15th, 2010

Bad sourcing practices can cause more than just “the cadmium blues.”

Friday, January 15th, 2010

According to Wikipedia cadmium has no constructive purpose in the human body. Cadmium and its compounds are extremely toxic even in low concentrations, and will bioaccumulate in organisms (that’s us) and ecosystems (that’s where we live).

This author posts frequently on safety issues and realities in sourcing practices. Particularly when you are buying from and unknown source, offshore or products for which you have no specific product specification. Consumers would be surprised how many products are bought offshore during buying trips that don’t have a specific specification. An example might be something as simple as a tiki lamp that comes under the category of seasonal, pool supplies or miscellaneous. Another that has been in the news recently is children’s costume jewelry. The issue that bothers this author is that for some of the largest names in retail that generally have great procurement practices there is really no excuse for these products making their way on to the shelves of our stores. There should be a check list of standards and certifications that suppliers have to adhere to in order for their products to come onshore in the first place. I can’t believe that a simple question like “Do these products contain any harmful chemicals in their makeup such as cadmium etc.” If the answer is we don’t know then don’t buy them or make the manufacturer provide a chemical breakdown of the product.

Inez Tenenbaum the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission advises, “Do not allow young children to be given or to play with cheap metal jewelry, especially when they are unsupervised. This author whishes to paraphrase, DON’T ALLOW IT WHETHER SUPERVISED OR NOT. And further. Retailers don’t buy these products regardless of profit margins unless you know they are safe period.

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