Interim order regulating certain UV radiation-emitting and ozone-generating devices under the Pest Control Products Act: Notice
Date published: June 7, 2021
The Interim Order Respecting Ultraviolet Radiation-emitting Devices and Ozone-generating Devices under the Pest Control Products Act was made on June 7, 2021. This interim order (IO) applies to devices used to control, destroy, make inactive or reduce the level of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms that are human pathogens. The IO exempts devices used for this purpose for swimming pools, spas or wastewater treatment systems.
This IO avoids regulatory duplication by exempting from the Pest Control Products Act any device classified as a Class II, III or IV medical device under the Medical Devices Regulations.
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Why the interim order was introduced
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation-emitting and ozone-generating devices such as lights and wands have become increasingly available for sale in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic. These devices are marketed to kill bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The devices are sold for use:
- on many surfaces and objects in the home, including:
- cell phones
- remote controls
- in water, such as humidifiers
- in the air in small- to large-sized rooms
Health Canada has not received enough evidence to confirm that these UV radiation-emitting and ozone-generating devices are safe for users and the public, or that they are effective. These devices have not been evaluated against the requirements set out in the Pest Control Products Act. Therefore, they may pose a serious health and safety risk.
Canadians using such devices may be relying on unsafe and unproven products in the belief that they are protecting themselves from COVID-19. This false sense of security may result in people not following proper disinfection procedures. They may be accidentally putting themselves at risk.
- exposure to UV light from UV radiation-emitting devices may cause serious injuries, including severe burns to the skin and eyes
- inhaling ozone from ozone-generating devices may impair lung function, irritate respiratory pathways, inflame pulmonary tissues or cause irreversible lung damage
If you bought a UV radiation-emitting wand that claims to prevent COVID-19 or to kill bacteria or viruses on surfaces or objects, stop using it immediately, especially if it is for use on skin. Health Canada's advisory warns Canadians about the risks of using UV lights and wands that make unproven claims to kill SARS-CoV-2.
Consult a health care professional if you have used these products on the skin and have any concerns.
How the interim order addresses health and safety concerns
The Interim order clarifies that certain ultraviolet radiation-emitting devices and ozone-generating devices claiming to kill bacteria and viruses are subject to the regulatory requirements of the Pest Control Products Act and its Regulations.
- UV radiation-emitting devices where the UV lamp is fully shielded or enclosed in the device may be authorized to be sold or used without being registered if they meet certain requirements.
- Certain other UV radiation-emitting devices and ozone-generating devices must be registered by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) before they may be sold or used in Canada.
All such devices must meet labelling requirements. Product label information is intended to clearly instruct users on how to use pest control products safely.
Pest control products are:
- required to be registered or otherwise authorized by Health Canada's PMRA under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act before they can be imported, sold or used in Canada
- subject to rigorous science-based assessments by Health Canada scientists before being approved for use in Canada
- re-evaluated on a cyclical basis to make sure they continue to meet current health and environmental safety standards and continue to have value
Unregistered or unauthorized devices are prohibited and may be subject to compliance and enforcement action.
For more information, please contact:
Policy and Operations Directorate
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
2 Constellation Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9
- Regulating ultraviolet radiation-emitting and ozone-generating devices under the Pest Control Products Act
- Notice of intent: Interim order to regulate certain ultraviolet radiation-emitting devices and ozone-generating devices under the Pest Control Products Act
- Ultraviolet (UV) lights and wands falsely claiming to disinfect against COVID-19 - Recalls and safety alerts
- Regulatory proposal PRO2018-02, pre-consultation – Proposed regulatory amendments to the Pest Control Products Regulations (pest control devices)
- Hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers (COVID-19)
- Pesticides in Canada
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