Video—Chemicals in Consumer Products and Cosmetics

Audit at a Glance—Chemicals in Consumer Products and Cosmetics

Video Transcript

This report is important because there are 4,300 different chemicals available in the Canadian marketplace. Some of those chemicals are found in consumer products and cosmetics that you and I may use on a daily basis. It’s important for Canadians to understand that these products are not tested prior to being put into the marketplace. And so we looked at Health Canada’s work to protect us from the potential negative effects of these chemicals.

We found that Health Canada doesn’t adequately assess the risk of products that you might order online through e-commerce, nor do they properly assess the risks of potential counterfeit products. We also found that Health Canada does not test products before they’re placed on the market, in particular for things like microbial contamination or for contamination of heavy metals.

We also found that marketing terms such as “hypoallergenic” or “fragrance-free”, there are actually no standards associated with those terms. And finally, we found that, in the case of cosmetics, if there is an incident, there is no obligation on the part of the manufacturer nor the retailer to advise Health Canada of that incident, as compared to consumer products where there is an obligation.