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Canadians’ Blood Samples Show Presence of ‘Forever Chemicals’: Report

  • A new report from the government of Canada reveals the presence of toxic “forever chemicals” in the blood of Canadians, with higher levels found in northern Indigenous communities.
  • Health Canada and Environment Canada propose listing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) due to their harmful effects on human health and wildlife.
  • PFAS, found in various consumer products and considered extremely persistent, accumulate in the liver and kidneys, posing long-term exposure risks.

A recently released report from the Canadian government highlights the presence of toxic “forever chemicals” in the blood of Canadians, with even higher levels detected in northern Indigenous communities.

Health Canada and Environment Canada have jointly published a draft assessment on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), proposing their classification as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

PFAS are human-made chemicals that pose health risks to both humans and wildlife. Studies have shown their accumulation in the liver and kidneys, leading to concerns about long-term health effects. Due to the slow breakdown of PFAS, repeated exposure over time results in increasing levels of these chemicals in the bloodstream.

PFAS can be found in a wide range of consumer products, including cosmetics, diapers, menstrual products, food packaging, carpets, furniture, and clothing. Although many of these products are disposable, PFAS persist in the environment. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault emphasized the need to protect the environment and the health of Canadians, stating that human-made substances should not remain indefinitely.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the government’s commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of Canadians and the environment. The government defines PFAS as a class of over 4,700 human-made chemicals, with the list continually expanding.

The report also highlights that exposure to “forever chemicals” occurs through various means, including inhalation of airborne particles, contact with dust, and consumption of contaminated drinking water. These persistent chemicals are present throughout Canada, including in remote Arctic regions.


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PFAS are used in firefighting equipment such as flame-retardant foam, as well as in crucial components of electric vehicles, batteries, and solar panels.

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada argues that PFAS contribute to clean energy and emissions reduction. While the association acknowledges the importance of following scientific findings, it cautions against banning essential PFAS without viable alternatives.

The government’s proposed listing of PFAS as toxic under CEPA marks the initial step toward enacting regulations to ban these chemicals, similar to the measures taken against single-use plastic items.

Canadians have the opportunity to provide input on this proposed change until mid-July, allowing public participation in the decision-making process.

In conclusion, the report sheds light on the presence of “forever chemicals” in the blood of Canadians, prompting the government to propose their classification as toxic.

The harmful effects of PFAS on human health and wildlife, along with their persistence in the environment, underscore the need for protective measures. The proposed change serves as a starting point for potential regulations aimed at banning PFAS, while public input is sought to inform decision-making. (Curled from


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