Baltimore health department cites store for selling lead-tainted children's jewelry

Young World Store cited three times in recent years for violations, agency said

November 22, 2013|By Eileen Ambrose and Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun

Young World Store on Liberty Heights Avenue has been cited by the Baltimore City Health Department for selling children's bracelets with excessive levels of lead, the agency announced Thursday.

The agency said lead levels in the multicolored bangle bracelet are 25 times the amount permitted. This is the third time in three years that the store at 2401 Liberty Heights Ave. has been cited for lead violations, according to the health department, which alerted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the most recent findings.

"This bracelet sells for just a few dollars but is not a bargain and can be a significant danger to small children," said Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot in a statement. "The costs of lead poisoning can last a lifetime."

High levels of lead in children can impair development and cause death, the agency said. The health department advises parents to discard the bracelet if they purchased one.

Dan Hershkowitz, the retailer's chief financial officer, said the store has removed the jewelry. The bracelet had come from an overseas vendor who had certified that the item met health standards, he said. Young World won't sell anything that can be harmful to children, he added.

The health department has made a push in recent years to stem the sales of jewelry containing high levels of lead.

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