New Government of Canada regulations protect children from exposure to lead and cadmium

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 General News
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New limit for cadmium introduced; limit for lead lowered

OTTAWA, May 2, 2018 /CNW/ - Parents want to do the

best for their children and they need to know that the products that their children come into contact with every day are safe. That is why Health Canada is introducing new limits for toxic metals in children's products to protect children from exposure
to lead and cadmium through updates to the Children's Jewellery Regulations and through new Consumer Products Containing Lead Regulations

Exposure to lead or cadmium may pose a significant health risk to children who chew, suck or swallow items made with these metals. Current science indicates that ingestion of even very low levels of lead or cadmium may be harmful to children.

To protect children from exposure to lead and cadmium in children's jewellery, Health Canada is:

  • reducing the level of total allowable lead from 600 mg/kg to 90 mg/kg in children's jewellery; and
  • introducing a strict 130 mg/kg total cadmium limit in these products.

Health Canada is also expanding the scope of products covered under previous lead regulations to extend strict lead limits to:

  • toys for children between 3 and 14 years of age;
  • children's clothing and accessories; and
  • products to facilitate relaxation, sleep, carrying or transporting of a child under four years of age.

These changes are part of Health Canada's Lead Risk Reduction Strategy for Consumer Products, which aims to help reduce lead exposure by introducing lead content limits for products to which children are most likely to be exposed.

Health Canada recommends that parents and caregivers do not allow children to put any jewellery in their mouths.


"Canada has some of the strictest lead regulations in the world for toys and other children's products. I am proud to say that these regulations, which also introduce limits for cadmium in children's jewellery, go even further to protect our children from the risks of these toxic metals." The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor Minister of Health  

Quick Facts

  • These updates to the Children's Jewellery Regulations, and the new Consumer Products Containing Lead Regulations will enter into force on November 2, 2018. Once in force, manufacturers, retailers and importers will only be able to sell products that comply.
  • Until that time, Health Canada will continue to use its existing authorities to take corrective action if children's products containing high levels of lead or cadmium are found in the Canadian marketplace.
  • Lead and cadmium are naturally occurring metals, so trace levels can sometimes be found in products made from other metals.
  • Risk assessments by Health Canada scientists have determined that a 90 mg/kg total daily lead exposure limit and a 130 mg/kg total cadmium daily exposure limit will help protect children against harmful health effects associated with these metals.
  • Health Canada set the new limits for lead and cadmium based on this scientific evidence of risks to human health.

Related Products

Children's Jewellery RegulationsConsumer Products Containing Lead RegulationsHealth Canada's Lead Risk Reduction StrategyLead and cadmium in Children's JewelleryReduce your exposure to leadCanadian Consumer Product Safety Act


SOURCE Health Canada

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