Tis the season when governments think about the safety of children’s toys, and it’s all over the news this week: the Minister of Health announced a restriction on the amount of lead allowable in children’s toys, furniture, and anything likely to come in contact with the mouth (such as baby bottles, drinking spouts, and sports mouthpieces). As of December 8, when the new regulations go into effect, Canada’s lead limit on children’s products will be “the strictest in the world.” Most products on the market, though, already conform to the new limit.
Lead poisoning can result in sluggishness, anemia, and permanent learning disabilities—and lead accumulates throughout one’s lifetime. It’s important to reduce lead exposure especially in those products that children put in their mouths. The new restrictions address those products that pose the highest risk to children.