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Canada

Time for Canada to protect Canadians from ‘forever chemicals,’ toxics experts say

OTTAWA — Environmental experts on toxic chemicals say it’s well past time for Ottawa to protect Canadians from a whole class of substances known as “forever chemicals.”

That is the term used to describe more than 10,000 different per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances which are used in hundreds of products from waterproof cosmetics to carpeting and non-stick cookware.

They are called forever chemicals because instead of breaking down, they build up in the environment and in human bodies, where they have been linked to a multitude of problems including hormone disruptions and cancers.

Health Canada has been looking at setting new limits on the presence of some forever chemicals in drinking water.

In May 2023, it published a draft report concluding the substances should be designated as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Environmental Defence toxics program manager Cassie Barker says it is urgent for that to move forward so the chemicals can finally be regulated and, in many cases, phased out altogether.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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