California now has the strictest limits in the U.S. on the amount of lead & cadmium allowed in jewelry sold in the state. Bipartisan legislation was signed into law to protect Californians (especially children) from jewelry contaminated by these toxic heavy metals and will go into effect January 2020.
The main source of exposure to these toxic heavy metals is ingestion, especially for children who have the habit of putting things in their mouths. The new law will lower lead limits for jewelry marketed to older teens and adults from 60,000 to 500 parts per million (ppm). Lead limits for jewelry marketed to children aged 14 and under will lower from 600 to 100 ppm.
The new state law could create a new national standard, as California has the fifth-largest economy in the world & manufacturers often change production standards just to comply with the state.