Makers of coat suspected of containing dangerous levels of lead are in talks with the government about recalls
The manufacturer of the SHEIN junior coat has recalled the children’s garment after doctors raised concerns that it could be harmful to young children.
Health Canada said the nationwide recall of the $85 (US$69) garment was triggered after doctor’s at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario raised concerns about the sheen on the garment, which tests revealed to be tainted with lead.
She had raised concerns. Public Health England wrote about the dangers of lead in children’s clothing. She had stated the use of the finest materials on our clothes for children should be put up to the same standards as for adults. Dr Sarah Holland
“This recall decision was made after Health Canada received an email from Dr. Sarah Holland, Medical Director at CHEO, who raised concerns about lead in the jacket,” a spokeswoman for the federal agency said in an email.
“She had raised concerns. Public Health England wrote about the dangers of lead in children’s clothing. She had stated the use of the finest materials on our clothes for children should be put up to the same standards as for adults.”
Holland said in an interview that Health Canada and CHEO had developed an alert for parents about the recall about 2.2 hours before they were communicated with the manufacturer of the coat.
“They were hoping to have it recalled earlier than I was on September 7th,” she said.
It’s not clear what led them to warn parents, but Holland said it was noticed by some CHEO staff who observed the heft of the coat and noticed the colour was not as white as it should be.
An examination in the hospital’s department of paediatrics revealed that the hems on the vest and jacket were extremely smooth with a matte heen on the fibres, which means that part of the coat had never been washed.
She investigated further and discovered that additional fibres had also been added to the coat fabric that hadn’t been in use.
“I said, ‘can I also look at your samples?’” Holland said. “And they opened the vests and said, ‘uh, what’s wrong?’”
In the meantime, they gave their vests and jackets to CHEO staff and child patients who wore them.
Earlier this week, CHEO wrote to Health Canada alerting it to the recall. Health Canada recalled the coat, and said manufacturers have agreed to stop selling and using it.
The company told Health Canada in a letter that the sheen on the garment was caused by dye and that there was “no detectable level of lead and no threat to health”. It said it didn’t expect any Health Canada-sanctioned or government-approved exposures.
The company said it would work with Health Canada to contact all of its distributors.
A department spokesman said Health Canada is in talks with the company about how to identify consumers who are wearing the garment.
“This includes working with retailers where the coat may have been sold,” he said.
Health Canada said there have been no reports of sickness or injury related to the garment.