Health Canada

Health Canada

October 03, 2007 12:35 ET

Health Canada Proposes New Regulations for Corded Window Coverings

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2007) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today announced that Canada's New Government is taking steps to further protect the health and safety of Canadian children with an initiative to reduce the strangulation hazards posed by corded window coverings.

"These proposed amendments indicate commitment to make our regulatory system work to better protect Canadians," said Minister Clement. "Parents and care-givers must always be vigilant, but making products that are hazard-free is an important element for the safety of children."

These steps are to be accomplished through proposed regulatory amendments under the Hazardous Products Act that would require that all corded window coverings sold, advertised or imported in Canada comply with the specifications of the Canadian National Standard, CAN/CSA-Z600 Safety of Corded Window Covering Products, published by the Canadian Standards Association. These proposed amendments were pre-published in Part I of the Canada Gazette (canadagazette.gc.ca/partI/2007/20070929/html/regle2-e.html) on September 29 and comments are now being solicited from industry, the public and any other concerned party for a 75-day period.

Since 1989, Health Canada has received reports of 25 strangulation deaths of young children linked to corded window covering products. During the same time period, 21 near-fatal incidents linked to these products were also brought to the attention of the Department.

A "corded window covering product" for the proposed regulations is defined as an interior window covering that incorporates a bead chain, cord or any type of flexible looped device in its operation. The proposed regulations address the principal causes of strangulation associated with these products, namely the use of flexible continuous-loop pull-cords and loops in inner-cords.

At this time, there is a high level of adherence by industry to existing voluntary industry standards for these products. However, the strangulation hazard posed by corded window coverings warrants their regulation. Setting in place regulations for these products will make the requirements binding for all members of the industry. Additionally, Health Canada will have the authority to take action on products that do not comply with the legislated safety requirements.

Health Canada continues to issue advisories (www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/2007/2007_96_e.html) and educational tools (www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/house-domes/decor/blinds-toles/blinds-toles_e.html) on the safety hazards associated with these items and urges Canadians to follow the advice they contain. This information can be obtained by contacting the Consumer Product Safety Bureau by telephone, toll-free, at 1-866-662-0666 or (613) 952-1014, by email at CPS-SPC@hc-sc.gc.ca (please indicate the province of territory from which you are corresponding), by fax at (613) 941-4376, or by visiting www.healthcanada.gc.ca/blindcords.

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at
www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    Renée Bergeron
    613-957-2988
    or
    Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Federal Minister of Health
    Erik Waddell
    613-957-0200
    or
    Public Enquiries:
    613-957-2991
    1-866-225-0709