Christmas is a great time to give and receive gifts for your children that are bright, sparkly and glittery. It's during this time that I am especially proud of Baby Wisp and our commitment to lead, cadmium, and mercury - free products.
Here's our latest creation for the bigger girl - vintage rosettes on satin headbands. Notice the handwrapped satin and acrylic gem centers I see tonnes of products advertised to children that contain crystals, paints and metals. Some come out and say that their products do contain lead and some make no mention of it. As a mother of small children, I see first hand that my kids play with tonnes of items throughout a day and sometimes put these products to their mouths without thinking. And that is the danger of lead injestion or absorption for kids, in that they "mouth" these products and injest lead. Even trace amounts of lead can affect children moreso than adults. This article is quite informative about what to look for and how to protect yourself when purchasing toys & jewellery http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2009/09/17/f-lead-exposure-children-safe-levels.html
When I launched Baby Wisp, my daughter and all my family and friends who could
wear the products were wearing it. There's a personal responsibility, integrity and connection with my products that ensures that I will choose safety over profits. I wonder though about companies that are looking to make a fast buck. How can we as consumers protect ourselves from this? Are there any government checks that ensure companies are operating in a legal & responsible manner? Well, that question was answered for me this October when Health Canada called me to meet about Baby Wisp's adherence to the Children's Jewellery Regulations
. Hair accessories fall under this category of consumer products. I am versed in the regulations and in fact, exceed regulations by testing not only for the mandatory lead content restrictions but also the voluntary restrictions of cadmium.
We test the metals of the clips but also the rivets within the clip, the paint covering the clip, the paint on the logo of the clip and all the gems used in our products. We have over 25 separate tests by an accredited laboratory on file thus far. (That's expensive but worth it!) I was in fact, relieved when they came to visit our warehouse and check on our goods and requested to meet with the owner of the company. That sounds strange, doesn't it that I was relieved? But consider this: for one thing, Baby Wisp has become a big enough company that Health Canada had us on their radar to visit us in their cyclical enforcement of the regulations (under jurisdiction of the Canada Product Safety act) and secondly - that means they are doing a job for the Canadian Public to ensure that companies take responsibility for what they are bringing to market for consumers and protecting us from harm. Both from a business and a consumer standpoint, this is very comforting to know the system is working. Our government is taking our children's safety seriously and so are companies like Baby Wisp.
The Safety officers and I sat down and talked about the products, testing, and some new upcoming regulations that are currently voluntary- one being Cadmium
regulations. We have been voluntarily testing for this also for our own peace of mind. Cadmium is a highly toxic substance, three-qua
rters of cadmium usage today is in nickel-cadmium batteries. It is suspected that manufacturers have started to replace lead, which is highly restricted in children's products, with cadmium. Cadmium is a low cost metal, easy to work with, and has similar characteristics to lead. Check out this link to learn more about cadmium and its threats
. It’s pretty scary to think that manufacturers are aware of the hazards of this substance and they still choose to use it as a substitute to lead, in children’s products of all things. The only reason to do this would be to get products cheaper, get around current mandatory lead limits, and save money on expensive laboratory testing.
This is not meant to be a scary post at all, only thought it was a good opportunity to make our customers aware of what to look for / what questions to ask when buying metallic or embellished products for your children during this gift giving season. Maybe you didn't know this about lead, mercury and cadmium but we did ...and thought you should know that we care and why you should too.
Baby Wisp has a rock solid conscience about what we sell so when you're considering buying something that seems like a good deal this holiday season, please ask yourself who you're buying from and whether they take steps to put their customer safety first.