Health Canada is watching your garage sale
Health Canada may not take too kindly to those Trash to Treasure items you are trying to sell to your neighbours or public at your Vancouver or Lower Mainland spring garage sale.
Garage sales and flea markets are an environmental boon in our reuse, recondition and recycle psyche.
A bargain to be had at low cost, from haggling over someone's treasured heirloom to a seller making a tidy profit on that 20 year old second fridge taking up valuable real estate in the sellers basement or garage, soon to grace your rec room.
Many of us in British Columbia on the weekends can find ourselves rubber necking the neighbourhood looking for that garage sale sign, some with an inane curiosity what the Jones's are tossing out?
Health Canada now seems to have put a damper on a pastime many never thought of before, Legal Liability!
Canadians have all been bombarded with news reports that defective or hazardous products ranging from electrical components, radiation leaks from microwaves to lead or cadmium eating utensils and toys have been found in the Canadian marketplace.
Horror stories in the media reporting hazardous or defective globally manufactured items, especially from China have caused either environmental impacts on the environment to health concerns and even fatalities to consumers. North American made products have also made the hazard list, especially when it comes to baby toys and cribs.
Flea markets and garage sale vendors are legally liable if any product traced back to them and sold to the public injures a consumer, certainly wiping out any profit made from the sale and possibly putting the seller in the poorhouse if a lawsuit against them results in a large cash settlement to the plaintiff.
Selling products ranging to lead based venetian blinds to asbestos or mercury laden appliances for example or used car parts may result in lawsuits if buyer beware laws are deemed inadmissible in court and the onus is put back on the seller.
There was a report of a Washington state police officer years ago who purchased a plastic baby bath at a local flea market, resulting in their new born infant suffering third degree burns. Testing of the baby bath showed evidence that the plastic baby bath was used to mix chemicals consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamines.
Certainly a worse case scenario, but tragic nonetheless.
Taking the fun out of a weekend pastime may now result in lawsuits if items sold cause injury to the buyer.
No word on how this Health Canada warning on liability affects second hand shops such as the Salvation Army, Valu Village etc?
Funny that mainstream businesses like a stores, car makers and dealers, leaky condo developers and the like who either sell, build or manufacture defective products resulting in injury or health issues to the consumer can still avoid most lawsuits, a quandary that escapes me. Perhaps they have better lawyers.