According to a report published June 25, 2013 the environmental action organization Environmental Defence detected 137 chemicals in the cord blood of three anonymous newborn children in Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton, Canada. Each newborn had between 55 and 121 different chemicals in their cord blood. The group detected polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 96 different polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in the cord blood. PFCs are used in non-stick coatings for cookware and food packaging, and as stain repellents in textiles. They bioaccumulate and are likely to be estrogenically active. High exposures are associated with kidney, testicular and liver cancer (see FPF article on polyfluorinated compounds).
The results indicate that the exposure to the detected chemicals does not begin at birth. Rather it may arise from maternal environmental exposure and already occur prenatally. In an article published June 26, 2013 in The Canadian Press the executive director of Environmental Defence, Sarah Winterton states that irrespective of the small sample size, findings are consistent with previous results from the United States. Environmental Defence is hence calling on Health Canada and industry to remove the chemicals from consumer products.