Health Canada

Health Canada

June 04, 2007 11:21 ET

Advisory: Health Canada Highlights the Need to Exercise Caution During Garage Sale Season

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 4, 2007) - At this time of year, Health Canada reminds Canadians that along with the warmer weather comes garage sale season. This is not only a great time for bargains, but also a time to exercise caution both as a buyer and as a seller. Caution is required to protect the safety of consumers who may use second-hand products. In Canada, the safety laws that apply to the sale of new products also apply to the sale of used items. Under these laws, it is illegal to import, sell, or even give away products that do not meet the requirements of the Hazardous Products Act (HPA).

Vendors are responsible for ensuring that all items sold or distributed at garage sales, flea markets, and second-hand stores fulfill the applicable requirements of the Hazardous Products Act and the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA). The REDA covers such items as microwave ovens, UV facial lamps and personal tanning equipment. Resold items must also meet current standards.

To assist both vendors and buyers, Health Canada has recently updated its bulletin entitled Facts for Garage Sale Vendors (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/cons/garage_e.html). This bulletin provides safety information about garage sale products such as: children's sleepwear; window blinds; infant bath seats and bath rings; playpens; etc.

Of special note, it is not recommended to resell infant bath seats and bath rings (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/2006/2006_97_e.html). This is because suction cups or other means to attach them to a tub can become ineffective. Additionally, many people mistakenly believe that these products are safety devices and will keep an unsupervised baby safe in the tub. Many infants have died, however, when they were left alone in a bath seat or bath ring, even for a few seconds. Reselling infant bath seats or bath rings can be especially dangerous because any warnings and/or instructions that could have alerted a caregiver of the serious drowning hazard related to these products may be out of date or missing entirely.

Window coverings with cords and bead chains present strangulation hazards to children (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/2006/2006_29_e.html). Products with continuous looped pull-cords, and venetian blinds without inner cord stop devices or safety labelling, should not be sold.

It should also be highlighted that in Canada it is illegal to sell baby walkers - either new or used. Additionally, anyone with a baby walker is advised to destroy the product prior to disposal to ensure that it cannot be reused.

For more information on the safety of second-hand consumer products, please visit the Consumer Product Safety (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/index_e.html) section of the Health Canada Web site or call 1-866-662-0666. E-mail inquiries may be sent to: cps-spc@hc-sc.gc.ca (Please indicate the province or territory from which you are corresponding).

Inquiries regarding the resale of items covered under the REDA may be directed to (613) 954-6699 or by e-mail to crpb-psrcc@hc-sc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Media Enquiries:
    Health Canada
    Renee Bergeron
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    or
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