These Chemicals Are Bad for Babies and Whales: Why Haven’t They Been Banned in Canada?

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A federal agency in the United States took action last month to ban an entire class of toxic flame retardants from being added to a wide variety of consumer products, from baby toys to televisions. It’s a first for the U.S. — and it could be done in Canada too.

In its review of the science, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found there was “overwhelming” evidence that halogenated flame retardants, also known as organohalogens, present a “serious public health issue.” As a result, these flame retardants will be prohibited in all children’s products and toys (but not car seats), upholstered residential furniture, mattresses and the plastic casings on electronics.

Notably, and appropriately, the commission also found that “precautionary labelling” would not provide adequate protection against the potential hazards. Instead of merely warning consumers, the commission opted to prohibit the presence of these chemicals in consumer products.

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The Conversation