There has been a revelation that certain children's jewellery items containing lead have been sold in Canada for the past year. How can I identify any lead-containing jewellery that my child may have?

(I have posted this here, and will post an answer with some pictures, for information purposes, in case any visitors recognize these items. If you come across any similar items, please feel free to post pictures or descriptions of them here.)

asked 19 Jan '10, 21:17

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

edited 19 May '10, 02:08


why the spelling change, AFAIK in US it is jewelry, in the UK jewellery, is this just some attempt to compromise?

(19 Jan '10, 22:22) Rich Seller

Just an FYI, Consumer Reports is reporting that some manufacturers are also using cadmium -

(19 Jan '10, 23:11) Kiesa ♦

@Rich: Firefox told me it should be jewelery, and I don't argue with Firefox. :) (ok, I'm looking it up...)

(20 Jan '10, 02:12) Scott ♦♦

@Rich: You're right, so I'm rolling back.

(20 Jan '10, 02:15) Scott ♦♦

@Scott, sooner or later I had to be right about something...

(21 Jan '10, 10:55) Rich Seller

I have seen home lead test kits in Wal-Mart. There are some concerns with how accurate/sensitive these kits are in general as outlined in this advisory from Health Canada, but Consumer's Report magazine issued passing grades to the following 3 brands based on reliability and ease of use:

There were two other brands that didn't make the grade: First Alert & Pro-Lab kits


answered 19 Jan '10, 22:18

Kate's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

I would look to see what the jewelry is made of and then stick to sterling silver, gold or plastic jewelry. Otherwise I don't know a way of just looking at the jewelry or the packing that would tell, unless the company posts a warning that it may contain lead.


answered 19 Jan '10, 21:23

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%


Not to single out one country, but the article mentions they were imported, and one would assume these items probably came from China. It says the importing companies are now out of business. Even though the law makes this illegal, some of these items unfortunately get through into the marketplace. In fact, just wearing lead jewelery is supposedly not dangerous. It's dangerous when kids might put it in their mouth.

(19 Jan '10, 21:26) Scott ♦♦

In recent years there have also been many recalls in the US because of products, again generally from China, have somehow gotten past our regulations. But the country of manufacture is not always easy to find in/on the packaging. And sometimes the pieces are made in one or more countries and assembled elsewhere, with the country of assembly being the one listed.

(19 Jan '10, 21:44) mkcoehoorn

+1 for recommending gold or silver.

(19 Jan '10, 22:28) Emi

My response would be to avoid any types of jewellery for young children that are not pure metals like sterling silver or gold. Unfortunately even reputable chain stores specializing in trinkets and decorative jewellery are not always 100% upfront regarding their merchandise.

As mcoehoorn also states, sometimes the origins of the products and final point of shipping is hard to trace. This can be due to clever bypasses that are conjured up by the distributors/importers of the products, to make sure products end up on the store shelves.

I would be particularly careful and avoid any products that were not sterling silver or gold for earrings and other types of jewellery if my child had sensitive skin, (silver plated and non plated metals containing nickel)

Does Canada impose any kind of quota levels for the import of such items from overseas?


answered 19 Jan '10, 22:53

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 21 Jan '10, 08:42

The Montreal Gazette posted pictures of the 4 items that contain lead:

Smiling Maple Leaf Necklace

Fashion item containing lead

Silver "dollar sign" chain


Health Canada recommends taking these away from children immediately.


answered 19 Jan '10, 21:21

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

That sure is some nice bling! Too bad about the lead. ;)

(20 Jan '10, 02:43) Scottie T

@Scottie T: Yeah, I wear the 3rd one to work every day. :)

(20 Jan '10, 03:53) Scott ♦♦

@Scott I just saw this and simply had to pass it on;

(20 Jan '10, 22:51) Emi
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Asked: 19 Jan '10, 21:17

Seen: 4,187 times

Last updated: 19 May '10, 02:08