Toronto, ON – Today’s announcement by Loblaw to eliminate the toxic chemicals triclosan and phthalates, and microbeads from President’s Choice and Life Brand products is great news for consumers. Loblaw Companies Ltd is showing clear leadership among Canadian retailers in efforts to protect the health of Canadians and the environment. It’s encouraging to see companies like Loblaw responding to customer concerns and taking the lead where governments continue to lag.
Both triclosan and phthalates are known for their harmful impacts to human health and the environment. Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor (hormone-disrupting chemical), harmful to wildlife, and has been linked to antibiotic resistant bacteria. Phthalates are also known endocrine disruptors, and have been linked to asthma, infertility, risk factors for diabetes, and one phthalate has been linked to cancer. Plastic microbeads, found in personal care products, are polluting waterways across the country. These tiny bits of plastic absorb toxic chemicals from the environment, and when eaten by fish, those chemicals can gain access to the food chain.
Loblaw’s voluntary action shows that we can remove these risky components from consumer products. But in addition to companies taking action, we also need clear labeling laws. Canadians have the right to know what’s in the products they buy, so they can choose safer options for their families. It’s time for the Ontario government to act on its election commitment to consider adopting mandatory labelling on any consumer products containing carcinogens.
We also need to ask why the federal government is not moving to ban toxic chemicals to protect all Canadians. Since it declared triclosan toxic in 2012, Canadians have been waiting for a final decision on whether the federal government will ban the chemical.
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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 223; 647-468-3641 (cell);