SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 193/16

SafeGuardS girl with jewellery

Health Canada has recently published a proposal to amend the Children’s Jewellery Regulations. If approved, the new law could become effective in Q4 of 2017.

The Children’s Jewellery Regulations (SOR/2016-168 [1], formerly SOR/2011-19 [2]) under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) regulates total lead (lead content) and migratable lead in jewelry for children under the age of 15.

In October 2010, Health Canada appealed to the jewelry industry [3] to voluntarily phase out on the use of cadmium and cadmium-related materials in children’s jewelry.

In July 2011, Health Canada issued a draft proposal [4] to restrict total cadmium (cadmium content) to no more than 130 mg/kg in children’s jewelry.

Although there are no regulatory limits for cadmium in children’s jewelry in Canada, Health Canada has been taking action against children’s jewelry containing more than the recommended limit of 130 mg/kg total cadmium through the general prohibitions in the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act CCPSA ([5]), which prohibits consumer products that are a danger to human health or safety. 

On December 3, 2016, Canada published a proposed Regulation [6] to amend the Children’s Jewellery Regulations (SOR/2016-168). The proposal contains two important changes:

  • Introducing a 130 mg/kg limit for total cadmium for items that fit into a small parts cylinder when a force of not more than 4.45N is applied
  • Replacing the current total and migratable lead limits with a single but more stringent limit for total lead (lead content)

This proposal is undergoing a 75-day consultation period from December 3, 2016 to February 15, 2017 [7]. Health Canada will review all comments received and determine the appropriate next steps in the regulatory process. The new law will become effective 6 months after publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. This could be in Q4 of 2017.

Highlights of Children’s Jewellery Regulations (SOR/2016-168) and its comparison with the proposal are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. A comparison between current Children’s Jewellery Regulations (SOR/2016-168) and the proposed Regulation

Children’s Jewellery Regulations under the CCPSA
SOR/2016-168 Proposed Regulation
Scope Jewelry for children under the age of 15
Exemption Badges, medals or other similar objects normally worn occasionally

≤ 600 mg/kg total lead and

≤ 90 mg/kg migratable lead

≤ 130 mg/kg total cadmium (4.45N force, small parts cylinder) and

≤ 90 mg/kg total lead

Consultation period ---- 75 days (December 3, 2016 to February 15, 2017)
Effective date In force Potentially Q4 2017 (Six months after publication in Canada Gazette, Part II)

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy for cadmium and other restricted substances in jewelry and other consumer products for the Canadian and other international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Hardlines Information and Innovation Manager
Tel: (+852) 2774 7420

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