Children's necklaces, key chains recalled for lead poisoning risk

Four children's metal pendant necklaces and key chains sold at jewelry stores Claire's and Ardène are being recalled because they could make children ill from lead poisoning, Health Canada said in an advisory notice Wednesday.

The federal agency warned that if children sucked, chewed or swallowed any of the products, they could suffer serious or fatal lead poisoning.

The recall involves: a monkey pendant necklace, a cat pendant necklace, a cherry bud pendant necklace and a key chain.

The monkey pendant necklace, measuring 40 cm long, was sold at Claire's stores for $6.99 each from July through December 2006.

The "kitty" pendant necklace measures 80 cm long. The pendant of a black cat bears the word "kitty" above the cat's head. The product was sold at Ardène stores for $8.99 from February through December 2006.

The cherry bud pendant was sold with a chain measuring 80 cm long. One of the cherries is imprinted with the word "Buds." These necklaces were sold at Ardène stores between February and December 2006 for $8.99.

A blue glass flower hangs off the key chain involved in the recall. A metal bar above the flower reads "Best." These key chains were sold at Ardène stores between June and December 2006 for $5.99.
Return products for refund

The products should be taken away from children and returned to the store for a refund.

Children absorb lead more easily than adults and are therefore more vulnerable to poisoning. Exposure to high levels of lead can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma or death. Symptoms include anemia, appetite loss, abdominal pain, constipation, fatigue, sleeplessness, irritability and headache.

In December, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously to move forward in a process that could ultimately produce a ban on children's jewelry containing more than 0.06 per cent lead by weight.

Under current Health Canada regulations, paints and enamels on children's products may not contain more than 0.5 per cent lead by weight.

For more information, consumers can contact the Health Canada Product Safety office toll-free at 1-866-662-0666.