A recent audit found Health Canada isn't doing enough to protect Canadians from hazardous chemicals in everyday products.
This is not breaking news to you. And maybe it's the main reason you:
- Make home cleaners, like dish and laundry soap
- Make personal-care products, like deodorant and toothpaste
- Avoid cheap loot-bag goodies and children's jewelry
- Became a "fragrance" and "parfum" ingredient list detective
Federal environmental watchdog report findings:
Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest
- Cosmetics and household products need more safety oversight. (Perhaps this explains how harmful microbeads made it into your toothpaste, onto store shelves and then into the ocean and aquatic species?)
- Canada should align its regulations with the European Union, which has made companies label products that contain any of the known 26 fragrance allergens since 2003. (The David Suzuki Foundation made this same recommendation in 2011 with Failing the Sniff Test: Chemicals in fragranced products remain a mystery!)
- Gaps in the Consumer Product Safety Program — which is designed to detect risks to human health — are problematic.
- No regular tests are conducted for heavy metals (and contaminants). Did you know that for some heavy metals, like lead, there are no safe levels?
- Sunscreen products can be unsafe and their labels misleading.
- More product testing is needed, and consumers should be informed that terms like "hypoallergenic" or "unscented" don't necessarily mean the product is healthy or safe.
The good news?
Health Canada will review its plan, and may include testing of cosmetics for banned or restricted substances. It may also require companies to confidentially disclose a full list of ingredients, instead of hiding behind "trade secrets".
And sign up for my digest to get your monthly dose of "green" inspiration, which will help reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer goods.
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green