Cat. No.: H128-1/08-561
HC Pub.: 4535
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Lead is a soft, heavy metal that is poisonous when absorbed into the body. Wearing jewellery containing lead does not cause harm, but children sucking, chewing or swallowing this type of jewellery can cause damage to their bodies, especially to their nervous system. While some jewellery may have paint or a top coating, this does not make the jewellery safer for children because the coating can be chewed or worn off.
Lead is often used to make jewellery because it is inexpensive and easy to shape. Items that are made with a high percentage of lead are heavy for their size. Unless the item has a coating, it will be greyish in colour and may leave a grey mark when rubbed against a piece of white paper.
In Canada, it is illegal to import, advertise or sell jewellery designed for children which contains more than the allowable lead limits as set out in the Canadian regulations.
For more information contact Product Safety, Health Canada.