Health Canada

Health Canada

May 04, 2009 15:40 ET

Health Canada Reminds Canadians About Garage Sale Safety

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 4, 2009) - Garage sale season is here again and Health Canada is reminding consumers to put safety ahead of savings and to use caution when buying second-hand items at garage sales, flea markets, on-line web sites, and second-hand stores. In Canada, it is the responsibility of the seller to ensure that the products they sell meet current Canadian safety requirements.

Do not consider buying items that have damaged, cracked, missing or loose parts, or items that are missing instructions. Also, do not buy items that have been banned or recalled because they pose a risk to consumer health or safety, or because they do not meet Canadian safety requirements and regulations. To find out if the product you are interested in has been recalled by the manufacturer, and for help in determining if the problem has been corrected, contact the manufacturer or check the list of consumer product recalls ( If you have a product that has been recalled and the problem has not been corrected, destroy the item to prevent its use by someone else, and throw it away.

Health Canada reminds buyers and sellers of second-hand goods that the Government of Canada recently announced new safety regulations for corded window coverings. The new regulations will make these products safer for young children. As a result of these changes, Health Canada recommends against re-selling corded window coverings such as horizontal blinds, vertical blinds, Roman shades, roll-up blinds, and other styles, because they can pose a strangulation hazard to young children. Cord loops can act as a noose and long cords can wrap around a child's neck. Safety features that are required by law may be missing from used products. These features include warning labelling, instructions for safe use, and safety devices.

To assist buyers and sellers, Health Canada will release two publications in Summer 2009: a new booklet entitled Information to Shoppers of Second-Hand Products; and a fact sheet, Facts for Garage Sale Vendors - 2009. The booklet and the fact sheet contain information about the health and safety requirements of products such as: children's sleepwear; toys; children's jewelry; window blinds; hockey helmets; and face protectors. The 2008 edition of Facts for Garage Sale Vendors ( is currently available.

Requirements for consumer products are currently covered under the Hazardous Products Act, which is administered by Health Canada. Under the law, vendors cannot import, sell, advertise, or give away products that do not meet the requirements of the Hazardous Products Act or its regulations. The Act also covers items that are homemade or have been modified.

Health Canada has recently taken several measures to improve upon the quality and efficiency of Canada's product safety legislation. On January 29, 2009, the Government tabled the proposed Bill C-6, also known as the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act ( a key component of the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan. The proposed Act would replace Part I of the current Hazardous Products Act and would better protect Canadians from unsafe consumer products. The Act is currently before Parliament and subject to the regular legislative process.

Health Canada also administers the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA) ( The REDA covers such items as microwave ovens, UV facial lamps and personal tanning equipment. Re-sold items that fall under this Act must also meet current standards. Inquiries regarding the re-sale of items covered under the REDA may be directed to (613) 954-6699 or by e-mail to

Consumer Product Recalls (

Facts for Garage Sale Vendors - 2008 (

Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (

Hazardous Products Act (

Egalement disponible en francais.

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