Testing shows jewelry loaded with the toxic metal cadmium is on the shelves of national retailers including Ross, Nordstrom Rack and Papaya.
Testing done for the nonprofit Center for Environmental Health showed some jewelry sold with women's apparel was nearly pure cadmium. Extended exposure to cadmium can cause cancer and reproductive harm.
The center's testing was on adult jewelry from stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Results shared with The Associated Press found 31 examples that were at least 40 percent cadmium.
Most of the products were from Ross, which said it has addressed the issue with its supplier.
Papaya said it has recalled all the suspect jewelry from its stores nationwide.
In 2012 California and other states outlawed cadmium in children's jewelry, but no prohibition exists for adult jewelry.