Apparently, getting high sticked or cross-checked might not be the only way children can be harmed by a hockey stick. Ken Campbell reports that Nike-Bauer Jr. Supreme 150 sticks failed to pass Hockey Canada’s acceptable levels for lead content.
“… the unsettling aspect of all of this is that nobody knows how many Nike Bauer sticks or those from other manufacturers might be contaminated with too much lead in their paint. All Nike-Bauer and Bauer sticks are manufactured in China, where there has been a litany of products and toys discovered to have dangerously high levels of lead in their paint. Easton, the No. 1 manufacturer of hockey sticks in North America ahead of Bauer, has factories in both Mexico and China.There has been no “stop sale” or recall issued in the United States, but it’s likely that will happen since acceptable levels of lead in paint are lower there than in Canada.”
This problem brings to mind toy company Mattel recalling a staggering 967,000 toys that were manufactured in China in 2007. Unfortunately, the Jr. Supreme 150 sticks might not be the only series made with unsafe levels of lead. Bauer reportedly hired a third party to test all sticks made from 2006 on.
“While it’s unlikely a young hockey player would ever contract lead poisoning from using one of the sticks, it is possible for the transfer of lead from the paint to the skin or blood stream to occur. If a player handles the stick with sweaty hands, something that would happen often, the transfer could take place and if the player then put his/her hands to his/her mouth or eyes, the lead could then be ingested by the player. Also, young hockey players sometimes have been known to rest the top of their sticks in their mouths, which could transfer the lead from the paint and it could also be transferred if a player were to be hit with the stick in his/her mouth.”