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

World-Renowned poet kicks off tour in Fort St. James

By Ruth Lloyd On September 20, 2018, the Community Hall Theatre of… Continue reading

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

College of New Caledonia offers new automotive glass technician program

The program is offered mainly online, allowing more students to take part from across the north

Decision on Burns Lake’s workforce camp “pending very soon”: Coastal GasLink

Meetings to discuss new camp location postponed due to wildfire situation

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read