Read the full article by Talia Gordner, Julia Loney, and Ralph Cuevo-Lorens (McMillan)
“Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (‘PFAS‘), a group of several thousand man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic (‘PFOS‘), perfluorooctanoic acid (‘PFOA‘), perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acid (“PFCA“) and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (‘PFBS‘), are receiving increased attention globally for their negative effects on human and environmental health. Developed for and used in a variety of household, commercial and industrial products for their stain resistant and water repellant qualities, PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals’ given the slow rate at which they break down in the environment. PFAS have been found in concerning levels in the blood of humans and animals as well in the natural environment throughout the world, including drinking water.
Common uses for PFAS substances include food packaging and takeout containers, non-stick pans, stain resistant furniture and rugs, personal care products and water-repellent outdoor gear. While not every product in these categories contains PFAS substances, Canadians have been directly exposed to them for decades without much awareness of their potential adverse effect on human health.
As PFAS makes headlines, Canadians are becoming more interested and concerned about their long term effects and, as a result, regulators in Canada are paying attention. This bulletin provides an overview of PFAS regulation within Canada today and shows where it lags behind the United States and Europe.”