Scientists from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an environmental arm tested baby items such as bibs, mats and blankets and discovered that they contain toxic chemicals that are linked to higher rates of cancer, infertility and suppressed immune systems. These substances are already banned from most other products in Canada. The chemicals are called PFAS which were created back in the 1950s and used in some industrial products such as stain and water-resistant fabrics. Many of these products are billed classified as being BPA-free, lead-free or made of organic materials which make them safe without providing consumers with all the information needed to make an informed decision.
Environmental Defense’s toxics program manager Muhannad Malas states that 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 study looked at products not only in Canada but also in the US and Mexico and shockingly the scientist found that chemicals present in 86% of the tested baby items ranging from baby bibs to children’s snowsuits.
Malas has stated that the Environment Minister Catherine McKenna should either ban the substances from clothing or require more detailed labelling to better inform consumers.