Tens of thousands of Indigo-branded mugs and houseware products are being recalled due to possible mould contamination, a new Health Canada alert shows.
The recall affects 21,890 products, including mugs, pitchers, cookie jars, platters and casserole pots, sold in Canada between August 2022 and December 2022. Click here to see all affected products.
The affected products, which were manufactured in China, "may have been subject to humid conditions," and as a result, "mould may be present under the glazed surface of the products."
As of January 30, 2023, Indigo has not received reports of incidents or injuries in Canada. However, Health Canada is advising consumers to immediately stop using the recalled products and return them to an Indigo store for a full refund.
According to Health Canada, mould ingestion "may pose a risk of gastrointestinal symptoms and infections in consumers with compromised immune systems."
To learn common symptoms and risks of mould exposure, read on.
Symptoms & risks of mould exposure
Mould thrives in dark, damp spaces and can be dangerous for your home, workspace, and, most importantly — your health.
Mould exposure won't necessarily make you sick; however, all mould varieties can cause allergic reactions and be potentially dangerous to your health, depending on the quantity and exposure level.
According to Health Canada, people living in homes with mould and damp conditions are more likely to have the following:
eye, nose and throat irritation
coughing and mucous (phlegm) build-up
wheezing and shortness of breath
worsening of asthma symptoms
other allergic reactions
Some people, including children, seniors and those with medical conditions (like asthma and severe allergies) or weakened immune systems, may be more vulnerable to the effects of mould than others.
Signs of mould
Mould can be found anywhere that's damp, including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and in Indigo's case — mugs and houseware products.
While it's commonly referred to as "black mould," it can be any colour, including white, green and spotted. Mould may appear powdery, cottony, or velvety and have an earthy, musty smell.
According to Health Canada, "not all mould is obvious to find." If you suspect mould in your home, it's important to check any damp locations, especially if water damage has occurred. When inspecting for mould, look for stains or discolouration on floors, walls, window panes, fabrics and carpets.
How to remove mould
While mould exposure may be harmful, it is possible to clean small to moderately contaminated surfaces.
On a washable surface, mould can be scrubbed away with water and dish detergent. Health Canada recommends wearing safety glasses or goggles, a disposable N95 mask and disposable gloves when tackling small amounts of mould.
For large amounts, the health agency recommends seeking professional help.
In the case of Indigo, consumers are advised to return their products because the mould may be underneath the glazed surface and, therefore, unable to scrub away.