In case you missed it: Pre-Polluted report
On June 26th we released a new report, Pre-Polluted, that found that before they’re even born, Canadian children are being exposed to a wide range of toxic chemicals. We tested the umbilical cord blood of three newborns from the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton, and found a total of 137 different toxic chemicals at low levels. The chemicals came from seven groups: PBDEs (flame retardants), PCBs, PFCs, Organochlorine pesticides, dioxins and furans and mercury and lead – and are all pervasive and persistent in our environment.
This isn’t about what mothers are doing wrong, but that government and industry are allowing these chemicals to pollute our homes, environment and our bodies.
The evidence that babies are burdened with a toxic chemical load before they are born signals a change must be made. Take action and help make that change. Become part of Team Toxout: read the report and sign the petition. Also, be sure to watch the video and share it all with your friends on social media to help spread the word about this issue
More body burden testing: Assembly of First Nations Biomonitoring Initiative
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has also released an important scientific report on the body burden of environmental chemicals in the adult First Nation population in Canada. The report, First Nations Biomonitoring Initiative, fills an important gap in existing research. While other populations in Canada have been tested for toxic body burden, this is the first comprehensive report on exposures for First Nations peoples living on reserves south of 60˚latitude.
The report examined 97 different toxic pollutants from chemical groups like flame retardants, PCBs, pesticides, heavy metals and more. In many cases, the concentrations of these environmental chemicals in First Nations populations were similar to the levels seen in other Canada-wide biomonitoring studies. However, certain chemical levels – mercury, for example – were significantly higher in the First Nations populations.
We believe all Canadians have a right to live in a clean, healthy environment. The First Nations Biomonitoring Initiative is an important contribution to research into environmental exposures that we hope will support better chemical regulation in Canada.
The buzz in Ontario
Image by Flickr user Bearseye
Earlier this year we wrote about how pesticides are, quite literally, a buzz-kill for bees. Around the world, honeybee populations have been quickly and steadily declining and it’s taking a toll on commercial agriculture. Scientific evidence points to neonicotinoids, a family of widely used pesticides, as the lethal culprit.
The European Union recently announced a two year ban on the use of these pesticides to give the honeybee populations a chance to recuperate from the toxic pesticide exposure. On this side of the pond, the Ontario government has commissioned an expert panel to investigate methods, like a pesticide ban, to prevent bees from exposure to neonicotinoids. This is good news for the bees AND us, since pesticides are suspected to cause some serious human health problems. The Ontario panel will make recommendations for saving the bees in advance of next year’s spring plant. Keep an eye (and ear) open for more buzz on this issue.
Blue Flag Beach Bonanza
Get your trunks out! On Sunday August 18th, Environmental Defence is hosting the 2nd annual Blue Flag Beach Bonanza at Woodbine beach in Toronto. C’mon out and celebrate all things Blue Flag! There will be sandcastle competitions, free yoga classes, kite flying, cool prizes and much, much, more! Find out all the details on our website.
If you can’t make the Bonanza, take some photos of your favourite local beach and enter them in our Life’s a Beach Photo Contest for a chance to win some great prizes.
Tip of the Month: Keep toxics away from the sun and sand
Speaking of heading to the beach, check out our July Tip of the Month to find out how to keep toxics out of your beach bag this year.