Amazingly, because of the inadequate consumer protections, these items fail to qualify for a recall. Apparently, they would if they were painted. From the AP:
A patchwork of federal consumer protection regulations does nothing to keep these nuggets of cadmium from U.S. store shelves. If the products were painted toys, they would face a recall. If they were industrial garbage, they could qualify as hazardous waste. But since there are no cadmium restrictions on jewelry, such items are sold legally.
One piece of jewelry, a flip flop bracelet charm sold at Walmart, "shed more cadmium in 24 hours than what World Health Organization guidelines deem a safe exposure over 60 weeks for a 33 pound child." A CDC official labels the metal a poison:
“There's nothing positive that you can say about this metal. It's a poison,” said Bruce A. Fowler, a cadmium specialist and toxicologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On the CDC's priority list of 275 most hazardous substances in the environment, cadmium ranks No. 7.
Ominously, this investigation also follows the announcement that China passed Germany in 2009 to become the world’s top exporter.