A report issued by the Canadian Federal Environmental Watchdog, claims that Health Canada is not doing enough when it comes to protecting Canadian Consumers from the hazardous chemicals found in both cosmetic and household products.
The report highlights that there are a number of gaps found in the Consumer Product Safety Program, a program that is supposed to detect and assess the risks to human health that are found in everyday consumer products.
Focussing on cosmetics, the report states that many chemicals found in fragrance products can trigger allergies, asthma, and have been linked to cancer. However, even though fragrance can cause these health problems, the department does not regularly test for prohibited or restricted ingredients found in cosmetics, and Health Canada cannot assure Canadians that these products do comply with the Food and Drugs Act. This also goes for the products that state they are ‘Fragrance- Free’ as extra chemicals are used to mask the scent. However, Health Canada cannot take any action unless the label makes a specific claim about the health and safety of the product.
Because of the health and safety risks regarding the regulation of cosmetics and other products, the report recommends that Canada should align its regulations with the European Union, include the testing of cosmetics to look for banned or restricted substances, and require companies to confidentially disclose a full list of ingredients that are now kept for competition reasons.