Canadian regulations state that non-medical face masks for sale require a label


As more people in Alberta wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Competition Bureau of Canada is working to educate those who make face masks about the rules they should follow. Textile Labeling Act.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said her recommendation was that Albertans wear masks if they go somewhere two meters away from another person.

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The Bureau said that businesses or artisans who make and sell non-medical masks must also attach a removable label.

The label should state what the fiber is made of and who made it. This is not a new rule – it applies to all textile items for sale. The label can be a sticker, hang tag, packaging, etc., or it can be sewn.

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Anyone guilty of an offense under the Textile Labeling Act could be fined up to $ 5,000, but for non-medical face masks – the emphasis right now is on education.

“This is especially a new element in the marketplace, many people do not understand the rules and requirements,” said Arthur Carson, senior competition law officer with the Competition Bureau.

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“The idea is: (give) an education to companies, artisans, all those who sell these products to understand what their obligations are and to ensure that consumers get this information when buying these products. “

Wendy Zelmer in Edmonton, Alberta, said her mother started making cloth masks for sale for $ 5 or $ 6, which mainly helps cover the cost of materials. Zelmer said adding labels seemed too much.

“I don’t agree with the requirements, I think people should be allowed to make homemade masks and sell them to those who want to buy them. If someone wants a mask with all the details, they have this option.

“If people have to start labeling the masks and there are specific government rules, then my mom said … that she was going to stop making the masks. “

Zelmer said it was also difficult to know exactly what the fiber composition of certain fabrics purchased some time ago was.

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Patti Diemert of Calgary, Alberta, who also makes masks, said no customer has asked for fiber since she started making them earlier this year. Diemert said his masks are made from 100% cotton and is happy to provide this information to anyone who wishes.

Diemert is also not so enthusiastic about labeling each mask.

“I have little white stickers, I could stick all the masks if I had to. But you know, the consumer is just going to rip them off and throw them in the trash, “said Diemert.

” What is the point? “

Carson said that obtaining labels is inexpensive and that the rule is in place to allow consumers to make informed decisions.

“This information allows [consumers] to know the composition of the fibers, as well as to know the name and place of business of the reseller. If they need to contact them with any problems or questions they may have regarding the facial mask … they can contact the dealer, “said Carson.

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There are exemptions from labeling requirements for items intended for:

  • donations
  • commercial or industrial companies
  • Federal, provincial and municipal departments or agencies
  • public services
  • educational institutions
  • health care facilities
  • religious orders or organizations

Carson said labels have more control over what is allowed in the market, whereas when non-medical masks are purchased for these locations, it is usually done in bulk. In exempted cases, the buyer must always have access to the composition of the masks.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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