Bear repellants qualify as one of those products that you absolutely hope you never need to use.
The dangers in relying on one are greater if you purchased one of the four bear deterrent products recently recalled by Health Canada because “their canisters do not function properly as they will not spray when users need them for protection against bears.”
The recent recall notice identifies the four products with the defective containers, sold under the Frontiersman and Sabre Wild brand names and with specific expiry dates in 2024 and yellow coloured nozzles. The release notes that approximately 130,000 units of the affected products were sold in Canada from February to June of this year, and no reports have been made of injury in Canada.
Occupants of dens of their own, Canadian consumers may be affected by skin irritation including rashes, swelling, burning, itching, hives and bumps caused by removable foam facial interfaces for Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality headsets distributed by Facebook Technologies. The joint recall notice with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that more than 170,000 units of the affected product were sold in Canada and that there had been more than 750 reports of skin reactions in Canada. The products were sold under a variety of serial numbers from October 2020 until the July 2021 recall. The recalled headsets were sold either individually or as part of a two-pack.
Fitting the summer heat, many of the recent product recalls feature burn or fire hazards to consumers. Some are predictable outcomes of fire-related products. Arroyo and Hideaway wood burning fire pits were recalled because of the fire hazard posed by wood stored in an area under the pits. Ducotm, Easy-Edge Grip, Windproof Mini BBQ Lighters were also recalled because they did not meet the lighters regulations in Canada because of combustion of a component in the lighter barrel.
Some of the other fire-related recalls reflect the dangers of product overheating. The heating elements in Cove Appliance 24-inch built in dishwashers may not properly shut off and overheat, posing a fire hazard. Various certified 2-in-1 electric mowers were also recalled because of overheating risks. More than 71,000 units of those mowers were sold in Canada. Overheating during use also led to the recall of AutoTrends Heated seat cushions.
In one of the more gruesome risk descriptions of recent Health Canada recalls, Generac and DR Portable Generators were recalled due to “finger amputation and crush hazards”. While there were no reports of injuries in Canada for the 4,500 products sold, in the United States there have been eight reports of finger injuries, including seven reports of finger amputation.
All Health Canada recall notices continue to warn consumers that because of “the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19, recalling companies may not be available to provide information to consumers at this time regarding corrective actions for posted recalls.”
Health Canada’s online database is searchable, which is important because there is no guarantee that a Health Canada recall notice will make products disappear from store shelves or web sites.
Health Canada also provides a number of Twitter feeds, email notifications and mobile apps to help consumers stay aware of recalls and warnings. There is a Consumer Product Incident Report Form for consumers who have experienced health or safety incidents.
Consumers who may be worried safety regulators are not giving product safety problems the attention they deserve can also share their experiences online at the Consumers Council of Canada homepage.