Zipper pulls, cellphone charms recalled for excessive lead levels

Made-in-China cellphone charms and zipper pulls sold in dollar stores across the country have been found to contain high levels of lead, Health Canada said in an advisory issued Thursday.

Cellphone charms and zipper pulls made in China and sold in dollar stores acrossCanada have been found to contain high levels of lead, Health Canada said in an advisory issued Thursday.

The items are dangerous to children if they suck, chew or swallow parts of the products, the federal agency said. Dollarama storesare voluntarily recalling the products from the marketplace.

"If you suspect that a child may have lead poisoning from mouthing one of these zipper pulls or cellphone charms, contact your family physician, who can order a blood test to measure the child's blood lead level," Health Canada said.

The recall applies to the following products:

  • Sixty-five millimetre zipper pulls with astrological signs or words including 'Diva,' 'Friend' or 'Cute.'
  • Cellphone charms in the shape of a purse and with a handle with a diameter of 15 mm.

Officials say consumers should throw out the zipper pulls and cellphone charms in their normal household waste disposal.

Lead poisoning can cause anemia, seizures

High amounts of lead can harm the nervous system, kidneys and other major organs. Anemia, a deficiency in red blood cells, can occur, ascan damage to the nervous system that may impair mental function. At worst, lead poisoning can cause seizures or death.

Thursday'sadvisory follows extensive global recalls issued in recent months for made-in-China toys. On Aug. 1, Mattel recalled about 1.5 million preschool toys for high lead levels. The company subsequently issued a second, larger recall of more than 18 million toys on Aug. 14, saying magnets embedded in the toysas well ashigh lead levels posed a safety threat to young children. On Tuesday, Mattel ordered a third recall of about 844,000 toyswith unsafe lead levels. All the toys were made in China.

Other recent recalls of made-in-China toys include Thomas the Train products and Toys "R" Us art kits, in both casesfor unsafe lead levels.