Health Canada during the week of the Nunavut Trade Show came to Iqaluit to raise awareness of its Consumer Product Safety Program and the role it plays in informing the public with regards to consumer products.
The Consumer Product Safety Program falls under the umbrella of two acts, the Consumer Product Safety Act and cosmetic regulations under Food and Drugs Act. Cosmetics can range from soap, shampoo, make-up, lotion among other similar products.
“As inspectors we use products, but I’m only limited to the circle of people I know. If we can get the public to let us know if something has injured them, a consumer product, it builds our bank of awareness so we can pursue more products that are a danger to consumers,” explained Melissa Legary, Product Safety Officer with Health Canada.
Legary while in the Nunavut capital also spoke with Nunavut Arctic College, Nunavut’s Department of Education, among other governmental agencies in addition to the Trade Show.
Products which fall under the Consumer Product Safety Program include commonly used on-the-land items such as portable stoves and camping tents.
“If you buy a tent you’re not supposed to be using a propane stove or a heat source in, (it tells you) not to do that. Because you don’t want it to catch on fire. If you do, the tents need to fill the flammability requirements. It (can) still catch on fire but it won’t just go up in flames quickly,” Legary explained.
If concerns around a product continue, the inspectors will sample the market for similar tents to check if it meets Canadian requirements and regulation. Various recalls issued by Health Canada can be viewed on the Health Canada website
Incidents or concerns surrounding consumer products can be reported through Health Canada’s website.
“You’re our eyes and ears on the ground, you’re dealing with these products. If it hurts you we want to know about it so we can do a further inspection on it, to see if this is just an isolated incident or if this is something that is occurring across Canada,” Legary said.
“You don’t have to be hurt, it’s the potential to be seriously hurt that we care about.”