Environmental Defence says it’s time to do away with the federal exemptions that allow the use of chemicals known broadly as PFAS in clothes and other textiles. (@lisaclarke/Flickr)

Baby bibs, blankets contain toxins Canada banned in other products: report

Chemicals, known as PFAS, are used in non-stick surfaces and water-resistant fabrics

Baby bibs, mats and blankets tested by scientists with NAFTA’s environmental arm contain toxic chemicals linked to higher rates of cancer, infertility and suppressed immune systems — substances already banned from most other products in Canada.

Muhannad Malas, the toxics program manager at Environmental Defence, says the Commission for Environmental Co-operation study shows it’s time to do away with the federal exemptions that allow the use of such chemicals in clothes and other textiles.

The chemicals, known broadly as PFAS, are synthetic substances created in the 1950s and used for a number of purposes in consumer and industrial products, including fire resistance, non-stick surfaces and in stain and water-resistant fabrics.

The study, which looked at products in Canada, Mexico and the United States, found the chemicals present in 86 per cent of the tested baby bibs, blankets, outdoor jackets, children’s snowsuits, winter gloves, cycling clothing, waterproof pants and weightlifting gloves available north of the border.

READ MORE: Health Canada recalls plush bunnies sold at Dollar Tree

Malas says many of the products are billed as being BPA-free, lead-free or made of organic materials, making them seem safe without providing consumers with all the information needed to make an informed decision.

He says he wants Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, whose department is reviewing the federal legislation that governs toxic chemicals, to either ban the substances from clothing or require more detailed labelling to better inform consumers.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Column: themes from the 2017 B.C. Flood and Wildfire Report

Columnist Jim Hilton offers an overview of the new fire and flood report’s 14 Strategic Shifts

Big victory for Quesnel’s U16 girls softball team in Kamloops

Unstoppable bats and a gem from Musselman propelled the girls to the win

Local athletes impress on Day 1 of Zone track and field event

CSS, QJS students showed off impressive skill as Quesnel hosts North Central Zone Championships

Tsilhqot’in community names officially recognized by Province

Tsilhqot’in names will now appear on provincial government resources, maps and databases

Editorial: respect where it’s due

Quesnel’s youth are impressive in their maturity and eloquence

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Most Read