ontario news watch

Firefighting foam ban possible as Canada looks at risks of ‘forever chemicals’

OTTAWA — Firefighting foams, cosmetics and food packaging that contain cancer-causing “forever chemicals” could be limited or outright banned in Canada following a federal government risk assessment of the products.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says in its draft report on PFAS chemicals that there are broad concerns about the risks they pose to both humans and the environment.

PFAS include more than 4,700 different combinations of synthetic chemicals used in dozens of products and have become pervasive across the entire environment, including in the bloodstreams of people and animals.

They are considered “forever chemicals” because they are difficult if not impossible to remove.

Multiple studies say the chemicals pose health risks to humans and wildlife, including higher risks of certain types of cancers, thyroid damage and blindness.

Environment Canada says it is considering regulating the use of products containing PFAS but will wait until a 60-day comment period is over on the draft assessment before acting.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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