“Dozens of Canadian-made or imported products, including baby bibs, mats and blankets, contain chemicals with known links to cancer and hormone-related illnesses, according to a study by the NAFTA environmental protection agency.

Two-thirds of 137 items tested contained perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), both banned in Canada and internationally.

The chemicals are known to disrupt the endocrine system, which controls the body’s hormonal functions. Longtime exposure to the compounds has been linked to cancer, liver and thyroid illnesses, and can cause reproductive damage.

‘(That) people are unknowingly, unintentionally buying these things is a big cause for concern,’ said Muhannad Malas, a toxics program manager at Environmental Defence Canada, a Toronto-based advocacy group. ‘People look for things that are safe … these products are being advertised as lead-free, BPA-free, but really end up containing one or more perfluorinated compounds.’

Of the Canadian-made and imported items tested by scientists at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) — an intergovernmental partnership between Canada, the United States and Mexico — the study found that all six baby bibs in the study contained either PFOA or PFOS, or both, as well as eight other possibly harmful perfluorinated compounds.

Tests on all four waterproof baby mats, pads and blankets; all 11 children’s jackets; nine of out 10 waterproof pants; and all 20 adult jackets in the study also revealed at least one perfluorinated chemical…

Malas said the study underscores an urgent need to modernize and strengthen consumer safety regulations. This process is already in motion, as recommendations to improve the 1999 Canadian Environmental Protection Act were tabled last June. The department is expected to respond next month.”

Read the full article by Vjosa Isai