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ETC Los Angeles Jewelry Mart

Pollution Prevention Helps Small Businesses Save Money While Protecting Their Workers and the Environment

Using research conducted in the Los Angeles Jewelry Mart District, the Office of Pollution Prevention and Technology Development (OPPTD) developed a series of Pollution Prevention (P2) guides for Jewelry Manufacturers. These P2 guides offer small business owners and their employees safer alternatives for those jewelry manufacturing processes that may produce hazardous wastes.

The P2 guides developed by OPPTD include fact sheets and a training film. The fact sheet titled, “Jewelry Manufacturing Pollution Prevention Recommendations” covers specific P2 alternatives available for each step in the jewelry making process. These include technologies that eliminate or reduce the need for cyanide. The training film is 30 minutes in length, and is titled, “The Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Pollution Prevention and Hazardous Waste Management.” The film shows P2 techniques and technologies in practice at the most modern jewelry shops. Additional fact sheets on hazardous waste management in the jewelry industry are also available. To better serve this industry, all of the fact sheets are available in Armenian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

As part of its ongoing outreach efforts, OPPTD recently worked with the local business community to develop the Los Angeles Jewelry Mart Wastestream Study. The study surveyed manufacturers in the Los Angeles Jewelry Mart to characterize the wastestreams produced and to identify the current management practices for those wastes. Samples of the wastestreams were collected and analyzed by a private laboratory; additional samples were submitted to DTSC’s Southern California Hazardous Materials Laboratory for quality control purposes.

Results of the study will be used to assist jewelry manufacturers statewide in complying with hazardous waste laws.

Pollution prevention methods and techniques promoted by DTSC were presented in an October 2003 article in AJM Magazine, The Authority on Jewelry Manufacturing. This article, titled “Love Thy Mother,” featured suggestions for earth-friendly manufacturing that could help prevent common environmental violations in the jewelry industry. The article is available online at