Sunday, April 27, 2008



April 27, 2008

Please support our right to know labelling campaign Visit our new website at

Twenty years ago, workers won the right to know what hazardous chemicals they could be exposed to in the workplace, with the adoption of the federal Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). But consumers still don't have that right — even though household products may contain the same toxic ingredients used in the workplace. Household paint strippers, for example, often contain methylene chloride, which is listed as a possible human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Many household cleaners contain 2-butoxyethanol, a substance declared toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. In the workplace, all those ingredients are listed and their hazards identified. But toxic ingredients are not identified in products used in our homes. We believe that has to change.

We believe that any hazardous ingredients, such as carcinogens or reproductive toxins, should be identified, so that consumers can make informed choices. That's the position we've pushed for in a series of consultation meetings with Health Canada where we represented the public interest.

We need you to support this position by signing a letter to Stephen Harper calling for federal right to know labelling legislation. You can find this letter on our website, or contact us at 604-669-1921 to have us send you printed letters to circulate.

It is important to do this soon as the Government of Canada is planning to implement consumer product labelling through their Chemicals Management Plan. Canada's big chemical industry manufacturers are already lobbying against hazard based ingredient labelling. We don't have the budget of the big industry groups to fight this campaign, but we do have you – people who care and can stand up for public rights.

Please circulate this information widely and encourage others to link to our website.

Toxic Free Canada will take these support letters to Ottawa at the end of May. We successfully educated the public, media, retailers and policy makers about the dangers of exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) through outreach and publications like our Cancer Smart Consumer Guide.

Health Canada listened and has taken the unprecedented steps of listing BPA as a toxic substance and is planning to introduce legislation to ban polycarbonate baby bottles. Let's keep Canada in a leadership position on this issue! With your support, we can win this right to know labelling campaign and protect those we love from unnecessary exposure to toxins.

Toxic Free Canada
Ph: 604-669-1921
Fx: 604.696.9627