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Etsy bans body parts, poisons, drugs and more

Bad news for folks who were hoping to buy a bucket of bodily fluids, a handful of mercury-filled thermometers or some "herbal smoking blends" online: You can no longer do it on Etsy.In a post on Etsy's news blog, policy manager Lauren Engelhardt explains that the e-commerce site — which encourages people to buy and sell handcrafted or vintage merchandise — has updated its "prohibited items
Etsy / Today

Bad news for folks who were hoping to buy a bucket of bodily fluids, a handful of mercury-filled thermometers or some "herbal smoking blends" online: You can no longer do it on Etsy.

In a post on Etsy's news blog, policy manager Lauren Engelhardt explains that the e-commerce site — which encourages people to buy and sell handcrafted or vintage merchandise — has updated its "prohibited items list" after "extensively researching some offbeat and fascinating topics."

In an effort to maintain the safe atmosphere for both shoppers and sellers — and to protect their own interest, one would assume — the folks at Etsy have expanded their prohibited items list to include smokeable products (such as "herbal smoking blends, tobacco-alternatives, and other products that one might commonly smoke in a pipe or cigarette form"), human remains and body parts, hazardous materials (things that are flammable, explosive, corrosive, poisonous and so on), items which require the transfer of a title of ownership, and items which include "medical drug claims."

Incense (defined as "product that is burned to release a scent into the air in a room"), human hair, human teeth, empty lighters and tobacco pipes without carburetors are still allowed after the policy changes — as long as they comply with Etsy's usual marketplace rules and any applicable laws.

According to Engelhardt's blog post, the Etsy staff is reaching out to folks who are affected by the policy changes in order to help them comply with the new rules, by either removing listings or editing listing information.

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