1 in 4 Toys in Canada Contain Lead?
Numerous toys have been recalled by Health Canada after TheStar.com found about one in four childrens items purchased in the Toronto region contained high levels of lead that were potentially poisonous and harmful.
In a recent investigation by reporter David Bruser, toys bought from 18 retailers throughout the Greater Toronto Area were checked for lead using two different tests. Shockingly, about one in every four of the items that were examined contained this toxic metal, including a brand of infant pacifiers. About 10,000 of these suspect pacifiers were sold across Canada, and many of the other toxic toys were also distributed by the thousand.
Lead poisoning can cause brain damage, plus a host of other diseases and disorders due to it's toxicity. Of considerable worry is the fact that lead was found in many pacifiers, as infants are at a higher risk of suffering from the irreversible effects of lead poisoning.
Health Minister Tony Clement has said he will consider further protecting children with new restrictions on lead in pacifiers. Another reform worth considering would be to make compliance with Health Canada recalls mandatory.
Finally, consumers would benefit from the hiring of more government inspectors with power to seize hazardous products. Fewer than 50 such inspectors currently watch stores, and that doesn't seem enough given the number of merchants here, the thousands of items they sell, and rapidly increasing imports. Ottawa clearly could do more to get the lead out of Canada's marketplace for children's toys.