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The Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association (FJATA) is the primary not-for-profit organization representing the interests of the jewelry and accessories industries on regulatory matters. This organization was conceived as a means to establish a unified voice promoting science above sensationalism when lead in jewelry became a hot topic in the media and within legal entities around the world. FJATA negotiated terms of Prop 65 consent agreements in California and was the voice for the jewelry and accessories industries during the development of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

When the CPSIA became law in 2009, the industry quickly took the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the new standard. In 2010, a new topic surfaced in the media charging that, although lead content was substantially reduced, another heavy metal, cadmium, was found.

With no available scientific data, FJATA commissioned tests to evaluate cadmium in metal jewelry components; at the same time, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted its own tests. Realizing that the industry needed scientific research to define material requirements, FJATA spearheaded a mission to develop a comprehensive safety standard for children’s jewelry, similar to the standard for toys, ASTM F963, which had become law through enactment of the CPSIA.

The result was ASTM F2923-11, the Standard Specification for Consumer Product Safety for Children’s Jewelry (ASTM F2923), which defines rules for magnets and batteries, surface coatings, cadmium, and more. Yet various conflicting state laws and proposed bills on cadmium created an uneven playing field. FJATA championed the cause of presenting ASTM F2923 to legislatures both in states and internationally.

Significantly, in June of 2012, Rhode Island became the first state to make ASTM F2923 mandatory by enacting the RI Comprehensive Children’s Jewelry Safety Act. In so doing, Rhode Island became the only state in the U.S. regulating heavy metals in surface coatings and nickel release (again among other things). This mission continues with efforts underway in New York, Connecticut, and other states.

Once the Children’s Jewelry Safety Standard was complete, FJATA worked to develop a standard for adult jewelry that would harmonize requirements that retailers developed in response to official regulations applicable to only the children’s category. This culminated in the publication of ASTM F2999-13, the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Adult Jewelry (ASTM F2999). The Adult Jewelry Safety Standard defines safety protocols in a manner similar to ASTM F2923, allowing for the fact that the risk pathway for adults is far different than it is for children.

In addition to material specifications, FJATA succeeded in developing:

  • a Supplier Code of Conduct that specifies how foreign, and domestic, suppliers should treat workers and the environment;
  • a fashion jewelry social compliance audit to reduce audit fatigue, developed in partnership with global audit firm Sumerra, saving time and money;
  • a Conflict Minerals Resource Center, an effort driven by 7 industry trade associations and data driven by field leaders, the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel and Source Intelligence. The CMRC allows companies to pursue Dodd-Frank Section 1502 compliance with all necessary information in one convenient online portal; and,
  • As part of the ASTM F15.24 subcommittee, FJATA chaired both the children’s and adult jewelry standard development, and led the subcommittee again this year to update both standards for 2014;
  • FJATA works together with jewelry and accessories companies to provide technical information and present the industry perspective to state, federal, and international regulators.

FJATA is dedicated to three essential principles:

  1. The number one concern of FJATA members is product safety;
  2. Regulating contaminants in jewelry solves only a portion of the potential hazards; and
  3. Driving companies to insolvency by enacting unnecessarily stringent thresholds is a mistake.

We will continue to serve the industry, promoting business-friendly, safe standards that secure a level playing field for all. To learn more, contact FJATA Executive Director Brent Cleaveland at bcleaveland@fjata.org, or call 401.667.0520.

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