Health Canada recalls toxic Shein children’s jacket following CBC investigation

Health Canada recalled a children’s jacket sold by Shein and reported to the government agency by CBC Marketplace because of the high lead content.

The jacket, which appeared on Shein’s website as “Toddler Ruffled Double-Breasted Polyurethane Trench Coat,” contained “lead in excess of allowable limits, posing a risk of lead exposure for consumers, ”reads the notice.

Health Canada’s notice stated that “11 units of the affected product were sold in Canada” between October 2020 and September 2021. No injuries were reported.

The recall follows a CBC Market Survey into toxic chemicals in clothing sold by fast fashion retailers. In test results commissioned by Marketplace and conducted by the University of Toronto, the jacket contained nearly 20 times the lead limit allowed in children’s products in Canada.

At the time of the test, lead researcher Miriam Diamond, an environmental chemist and professor at the University of Toronto, described the jacket as “evil.”

“I know it looks cute, but it’s actually evil. The lead levels in this trench coat are 20 times higher than the allowable limit for children’s jewelry. The allowable limit has been set. place in order to protect the health of children. ” she told the crew on site in her lab in September.

Lead can be toxic if ingested and can particularly affect children. Health effects can include neurological effects, liver and kidney problems, and can impact the heart and immune system.

Diamond said that while Health Canada’s recall is a step in the right direction, there are serious concerns as fast-fashion retailers continue to sell products like this one.

“How many other products on the market exceed health regulations or have high levels of chemicals of concern for which we have no regulations?” She wrote in an email to CBC.

“How can Health Canada prevent sales of these products when sales are made online without the presence (and responsibility) of the company in Canada?” “

Health Canada was informed of the results of the CBC Marketplace study ahead of the October 1 release and also received the full results of the test, which found that about one in five products purchased from popular online retailers contained levels of concern. chemicals.

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Health Canada on Tuesday advised consumers to immediately stop using the toddler trench coat and throw it away or destroy it.

Shein, which sells products both under her own brand and from third-party suppliers, previously emailed Marketplace claiming she had removed the jacket and another worrying item, a red handbag, of its application, and would cease working with affected vendors until the issue is resolved.

The Health Canada notice also said Shein would automatically reimburse anyone who purchased the product.

Diamond said that rather than leaving the testing to others, the fashion industry needs to “clean up – it needs to perform product testing in a comprehensive and transparent manner. The fashion industry needs to take responsibility for it. full responsibility for the health and safety of its products to protect industrial workers and consumers.

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