Health Canada has added more stores across Canada to the list of retailers found to be selling products to make the banned drug “poppers” after the agency discovered a Calgary store selling the substance in early June.
“Health Canada has notified these retailers that the sale of ‘poppers’ is not permitted under the Food and Drugs Act and is verifying that these unauthorized products have been removed from the Canadian market,” Health Canada said in a statement.
Poppers is the slang name for products containing alkyl nitrites, which are considered drugs under the Food and Drugs Act.
Although the products are labelled as common consumer items such as leather cleaners and room odourizers, they are used to “get high”—most commonly to enhance sexual arousal.
“Health Canada is not aware of credible evidence confirming that alkyl nitrites are legitimately used in consumer products such as leather cleaners, room odourizers, or liquid incense,” the agency said.
Some of the consequences of using the drug include potentially life-threatening low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, and damage to the liver or kidneys, to name a few.
Depending on the frequency and amount used as well as other health factors, the drug could also have fatal consequences. The effect of poppers becomes more adverse if used with alcohol and other illicit drugs.
Health Canada found a Calgary adult entertainment store selling the product in early June. The updated list of retailers includes stores in other parts of Calgary as well as in B.C., Quebec, Ontario, and Yukon.
Health Canada said it is also working with the Canada Border Services Agency to stop any shipments of alkyl nitrites from entering Canada.