The Canadian government has issued updates to the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) regarding children’s jewelry and products containing lead. The changes add products and new requirements to the act, and go into effect on November 2.

Current restrictions on jewelry for children under 15 years of age limit the lead content to 600mg/kg total lead and 90 mg/kg migratable lead. The CCPSA defines migratable lead as the amount of lead that is released out of a product when tested using good laboratory practices. The updates to the regulations replace those limits with a single 90mg/kg total lead limit for all children’s jewelry items.

The amended regulations also add a 130mg/kg total cadmium limit for children’s jewelry items small enough to be swallowed by a child. The CCPSA did not previously include a limit on cadmium, and the new limit was added as cadmium has been associated with adverse effects on the kidneys, liver, heart, blood system, nervous system, reproductive system and immune system.

The CCPSA’s regulations on consumer products containing lead were expanded. In addition to products that may come into contact with the mouth, the regulations have been extended to include specific products children may be exposed such as clothing, accessories, toys, books or printed products and childcare products.

The limit is unchanged at 90mg/kg per total and each accessible part of the product must not contain more than that limit. A total lead limit was chosen rather than a migratable limit because total lead is a fixed value, while the amount of lead that will move out of an item is dependent on factors such as the presence or absence of coatings, temperature, duration of exposure to a solvent, and strength of the solvent, and is therefore variable. While there are exemptions in the regulations if lead is necessary to produce an essential characteristic of the product and there are no alternatives, exempted components are still subject to a 90mg/kg migratable limit.