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

VIDEO: Kelowna Rockets look to leave Kamloops Blazers in the smoke

The season home opener takes place Friday night

UBC Okanagan professor tasked with increasing diversity in science

Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology names new associate chair

West Kelowna begin flushing Lakeview Water System

Water service will not be interrupted but boil water notices will be in effect

Prospera Place gives credit union members a break on parking

Prospera Credit Union members will receive $2 off event parking

Growing Okanagan tech sector hailed in new report

Study shows sector employees 12, 474 workers and is worth $1.67 billion to regional economy

Pavement Patty slows drivers near Rutland Elementary

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read