It’s going to be a hot summer in the homes and recall centres of Canada, judging from the number of products recently recalled by Health Canada because of fire, burn or flammability hazards.
Among the most alarming were the recalls of Easter Girl Tutu skirts, manufactured in China and distributed through Dollarama. Almost 16,000 of the skirts were sold from January to April 2021, but the product did not meet Textile Flammability Regulations. Three styles of hooded children’s bath wraps were similarly recalled due to flammability hazards. These wraps were sold under different brand names, including RH Baby & Child and Restoration Hardware. They were manufactured in China or Turkey and distributed by RH US from California.
A remarkable number of the other recent recalls also involve fire hazards. Many are from products for which this would seem a reasonable association: Clipper branded lighters sold from September 2020 to March 2021 through distributor HBI Canada were found to have unacceptable fire and burn hazards. Joy/JM My Little Steamer and its Go Mini sold more than 5.4 million handheld steaming units in the United States and another 14,000 in Canada, but has not been sold in Canada since 2013. It was recalled because it can spray or leak hot water during use, posing a potential burn hazard. CM BQ-4 Multi-flex BBQ lighters were recalled for posing a fire and burn hazard.
Other fire and burn related recalls were for products you might not expect. For instance, Heroisk and Talrika dinnerware sold by Ikea were recalled because the products may break during use, posing a burn hazard when they contain hot liquids. More than 11,000 of these products were sold in Canada, and approximately 2.5 million worldwide. Proctor Silex Pantone Oven Mitts sold at Giant Tiger were recalled because they may melt and catch fire during use. Charging cases sold with Audio Technical Wireless Headphones were also recalled because overheating also posed a fire hazard.
If you’d rather burn calories instead, you should avoid the Peloton Tread treadmills model TR02, recalled because loose screws could cause the touchscreen to dislodge. More than 5,500 units were sold in Canada between February and May 2021.
After more than 18 years on the market, CTG Kool Charmz links and various charms were recalled because they contained lead in excess of allowable limits. More than 329,000 units were sold during its time on the market, but Health Canada’s sampling and evaluation program determined that the jewellery contained more than 30mg/kg total lead, the danger threshold for products that appeal to children under 15 years of age. Exposure to lead has ben associated with many serious health effects. The affected products were manufactured in China and distributed by CTG Brands of Vaughan, Ontario.
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. A Consumer Product Incident Report Form is available 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.