Toronto- Environmental Defence congratulated MP Maria Minna, on the passing of her private member’s bill listing the chemical PFOS for elimination. The new Act declares Canada’s intention to eliminate the toxic chemical, which is found in stain repellants, floor waxes and food packaging.
“Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is more persistent than PCB’s or DDT,” said Dr. Kapil Khatter, Pollution Policy Advisor for Environmental Defence. “It builds up in our bodies, and has been associated in studies with cancer, brain damage, and harm to the immune system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has called PFOS an ‘unacceptable technology’ with ‘potentially severe long-term consequences.’”
Ms. Minna’s bill makes PFOS only the second chemical in Canada to be added to the virtual elimination list under Canada’s national pollution law called the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Virtual elimination commits the government to reduce a chemical’s release to below measurable levels. “It will take eight years for us to get half of the PFOS out of our bodies,” said Aaron Freeman, Environmental Defence’s Policy Director. “This new law starts us down the right path.”
Government regulations to eliminate PFOS have been proposed but have not yet been finalized. The regulations would give 5-year exemptions for a few uses but otherwise ban PFOS from Canada.
“Parliament has said that PFOS is not welcome around here anymore,” said Freeman. “It is now up to the government to get rid of it.”
As part of its Toxic Nation campaign, Environmental Defence tested Canadian children, adults and politicians and found PFOS exposure to be widespread. The reports can be found online at www.toxicnation.ca.
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca)Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)