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AP Impact: Feds Muff Kid Jewelry Cadmium Crackdown

That should have made the charms subject to cadmium limits â¿¿ and eligible for a recall.

In a written statement, Wal-Mart said: "When CPSC asked us about this item, we considered it an adult jewelry item because it was displayed alongside other adult jewelry-making items, and not intended for use by children."

Even CPSC field investigators who collected items for sale during the "children's jewelry sweep" were confused by what qualifies as children's jewelry under agency guidelines. At headquarters, CPSC experts decided some of the products were not for children after all.

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Click on an interactive that allows readers to determine whether everyday items are considered "children's products" under U.S. law: http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2012/cadmium/

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Associated Press researcher Julie Reed in Charlotte, N.C., contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press National Investigative Team can be reached at investigate(at)ap.org

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Contact Justin Pritchard at http://twitter.com/lalanewsman

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Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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