Media Release: Compliance and Enforcement Annual Report on Consumer Products Safety Necessary to Improve Protection from Hazardous Products in Canada

Media Release

Toronto – Compliance and enforcement provisions under the Canada Consumer Products Safety Act are necessary to achieve the greatest level of protection for the general public. Many consumer products such as cosmetics, cleaning products, toys and jewellery may contain potential hazards.

Over the years, the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) has vigorously advocated for compliance mechanisms, and for the need to provide transparency to the public about the level of compliance by manufacturers, importers, and retailers on product safety issues. Accordingly, CELA welcomes the release of Health Canada’s Annual Compliance and Enforcement Report, Fiscal Year: 2015-2016 by the Consumer Products Safety Program.

“This type of Annual Report is an important tool to help the public gauge how well Canadians are being kept safe from harmful and hazardous products,” stated Fe de Leon, Researcher and Paralegal at the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

The Annual Report lists a number of products that were targeted for inspections between 2015 and 2016. They were evaluated to determine if these products were in compliance with the Act or subject to recalls. Among the issues examined were presence of asbestos in mineral kits (such as those provided to children), labeling of cooking charcoal, adequacy of protective packaging, hazard labeling of household chemicals, presence of lead and cadmium in children’s jewellery, and presence of hazardous chemicals in polyurethane toys.

“It’s quite shocking to see substances such as cadmium detected in children’s jewelry despite the knowledge we have that these substances are associated with detrimental health effects.” noted de Leon. “We think the findings in the Annual Report should trigger a broader discussion on how the Act needs to emphasize prevention mechanisms to keep such products from entering our markets.”

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For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Fe de Leon, MPH, Researcher CELA, 416-960-2284 ext 7223
Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel, CELA, 416-960-2284