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Walmart Inc. knew in February that a line of Miley Cyrus branded jewelry contained high levels of Cadmium and knowingly continued to sell the products in its stores, says an article by the Associated Press.

Perhaps known best for her role as “Hannah Montana,” Cyrus’ jewelry line includes bracelets and necklaces made exclusively for Walmart stores and debuted in December. Early results in February of initial jewelry testing requested by the AP showed that the products contained cadmium, but Walmart said it would be too difficult to test products already on the shelves and that the jewelry is not for children anyway.

Cadmium is a heavy metal used in consumer products such as batteries, pigments and coatings/platings. It is a known carcinogen and shown to cause developmental problems in small children. Long-term exposure can cause bone softening and kidney failure. Children wearing jewelry containing cadmium absorb the toxin through the skin and by placing the jewelry in their mouth.

Walmart changed their mind and decided to remove the jewelry from store shelves after the AP article release.

“The Miley Cyrus & Max Azria line is not for children. It is sold in our ladies apparel section and it was designed for and marketed to older audiences. However, it is possible that a few younger consumers may seek it out in stores,” Walmart said in a statement. “Miley Cyrus & Max Azria jewelry is not intended for children, but as part of our unwavering commitment to protecting the safety of children, we are removing all of the jewelry from sale while we investigate its compliance with our children’s jewelry standard. Miley Cyrus, Max Azria and Walmart stand together in the belief that the safety of our customers is absolutely a top priority.”

In January 2010, an AP article that investigated high levels of cadmium in children’s jewelry prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue the first cadmium related recall in U.S. history, recalling about 55,000 of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog necklaces, sold exclusively at Walmart.

In response, Walmart adopted a new policy regarding children’s jewelry after the recall, requiring suppliers to test and provide verification that children’s jewelry manufactured after April 9, 2010 meets a certain standard and contains little cadmium.

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