In a groundbreaking move on Monday, the Canadian government put strict limits on the amount of lead that can be contained in children’s products. The new rules will cut the current limit from 600mg/KG to 90mg/KG for any product that comes in contact with a child’s mouth – including toys, baby bottle and drinking components such as straws, mouthpieces on musical instruments and mouthguards for sports. It also applies the limits to paints used in childrens’ items such as furniture. The move has been welcomed by consumer and children’s groups alike due to the potential for damage that lead products carry.
While the average levels of lead found in the blood of Canadians has dropped dramatically over the last 30 years, still, 100% of Canadians tested were found to carry lead in their systems. In children, lead can cause significant developmental issues including neurological symptoms and regression in already achieved milestones.
While most Canadian manufacturers of children’s goods are already avoiding lead, the new regulations are intended to target both domestic and imported children’s goods. Many high-profile recalls on goods made in China in 2007 highlighted the difficulties with the regulations on imported goods. The good news from these recalls, however, is that many people became far more aware of the origin of the toys their children play with and have become far more discerning shoppers.
How can you avoid lead in your child’s products? Consumer reports has an excellent list of things parents can do to ensure lead safety, including checking to see if a specific toy has been recalled and being discerning about what you choose to buy.
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