How Health Canada’s regulations protect Canadians

You rely on the safety of the products you use, the food you eat and the air you breathe. Learn how Health Canada works to protect your health and safety through its regulations.

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Regulating product safety

Products sold in Canada that must meet Health Canada’s requirements include:

  • foods
  • pesticides
  • health products, such as:
    • drugs
    • medical devices
    • natural health products
  • marijuana for medical purposes
  • consumer products, including:
    • cosmetics
    • household products
    • baby and children’s products
    • sporting and recreation equipment

Health Canada investigates complaints about unsafe products, conducts inspections and tests products sold in communities throughout Canada. Our priority is making sure:

  • companies are following rules for product safety
  • we take action quickly when unsafe products are found
  • you have the information you need to make informed choices about your health

We use a variety of tools to help protect you from unsafe products.

Health Canada regulations and guidelines are based on the best science available.

Reducing illegal drug and tobacco use

Health Canada develops requirements and oversees programs related to:

This helps us to fight drug abuse and reduce harm to the health of Canadians.

We use public information campaigns to support our work. They help us raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse.

Reducing environmental risks

Health Canada develops environmental guidelines, which help:

  • keep water and air pollution low
  • protect you against dangerous substances outdoors, at home and at work, such as:

The safety of chemicals is addressed through the Chemicals Management Plan.

Our experts also help manage sites contaminated by activities such as industrial development and military exercises.

In addition, our scientists study climate change and help develop ways to reduce its health impacts.

We have radiation monitoring stations across the country. If levels ever rise above our safety limits, we can act quickly to prevent risk to Canadians. We also monitor workplace radiation levels.

Providing health information

Canadians look to Health Canada for reliable information about food, health, consumer products and pesticides. We provide a variety of information, such as:

  • tips on choosing and using consumer products safely
  • tips on food safety and safe pesticide use
  • awareness campaigns on health issues like:
    • smoking
    • nutrition
    • prescription drug abuse

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