The Canadian Government is imposing new limits on the lead content of products including children's clothing and accessories from November this year.

The proposals extend the scope of the Consumer Products Containing Lead Regulations, so that a 90mg/kg total lead limit will now apply to children's products such as clothing.

The new rules will come into force from 2 November 2018, and after this date manufacturers, retailers and importers will only be able to sell products that comply.

Exposure to lead or cadmium may pose a significant health risk to children who chew, suck or swallow items made with these metals, says Health Canada. It adds that current science indicates that ingestion of even very low levels of lead or cadmium may be harmful to children.

The proposals also update the Children's Jewellery Regulations by introducing a strict 130mg/kg total cadmium limit in children's jewellery.

Risk assessments by Health Canada scientists have determined that a 90mg/kg total daily lead exposure limit and a 130mg/kg total cadmium daily exposure limit will help protect children against harmful health effects associated with these metals.

The new regulations were first proposed in 2016 and bring Canada's lead limits in line with those in the United States and European Union.