Does your makeup contain controversial ‘forever chemicals’?
Featured VideoCBC’s Marketplace tests eight products from popular makeup brands for so-called forever chemicals. The federal government is currently weighing whether to classify these chemicals as harmful to human health.
As the federal government weighs whether to regulate so-called forever chemicals as toxic, CBC’s Marketplace tested popular makeup brands for these chemicals and found measurable levels in three of four brands.
Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals,” are a group of more than 12,000 chemicals used in a variety of products — from makeup to raincoats to non-stick pans to fast-food packaging — to repel things like water, grease and dirt.
Miriam Diamond, an environmental chemist and professor at the University of Toronto, says while these characteristics make PFAS useful in our products, those same traits make PFAS persistent and hard to break down in our bodies and the environment.
“Ninety-nine per cent of Canadians have some level of PFAS in us. That’s an astonishing level,” said Diamond. PFAS that have been studied in detail have been linked to a variety of potential health effects, from higher cholesterol levels to increased risk of certain cancers.
This past summer, the Canadian government released a long-awaited draft report on PFAS and is expected to make a decision about classifying all of them as toxic to human health. Health Canada says it will release the final report as “expeditiously” as possible, but didn’t specify a date.
Diamond says PFAS can be found in makeup marketed as smudge-proof, long-lasting or waterproof.
To find out to what extent people are being exposed to PFAS through makeup sold in Canada, Marketplace sent foundations, mascaras and eyeliners for lab testing to see if PFAS were present, to identify the type of PFAS in them and determine how much of the identified PFAS the products contained. Read more
You can watch Marketplace’s latest investigation, “Chemical shock: Testing the makeup of your makeup” tonight at 8 p.m. (8:30 in N.L.) on CBC TV and CBC Gem.
Social media apps that facilitate sextortion blamed for not doing enough to prevent it
Social media companies like Meta and Snap Inc. have been updating their security features throughout 2023 to combat sextortion facilitated through their apps as the number of cases in Canada is reported to be on the rise.
According to the latest data from Cybertip, reports of sextortion in Canada have reached new highs, with 4,952 instances reported between June 2022 and the end of September 2023.
Sextortion is the practice of acquiring something, usually money, by threatening to expose a victim’s nude or explicit photos or videos online.
Across North America, CBC News found more than a dozen media reports of teens who died by suicide in incidents linked to sextortion in the past two years.
Cybertip also collects data indicating on which platform victims met their extortionists. Eighty per cent of the reports mention either Instagram or Snapchat, with complaints split in roughly equal numbers.
While the efforts of social media companies have helped remove leaked photos and videos from the internet and provided some support for victims, experts say they do little to actually prevent the abuse from happening in the first place.
Meta and Snap say they’re working on solutions. Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, says it sends alerts to users when they are contacted by an unknown account that it deems suspicious, such as an adult who recently followed many minors or was blocked by someone under 18. Snap Inc., which owns Snapchat, said it is starting to issue similar warnings.
Both companies say they have made it harder for adults to discover teen accounts or interact with them if they don’t have mutual friends. Read more
Canadian Tire told student her used SUV was safe, but missed a dangerous flaw during required inspection
Last winter, Tara Harper had good reason to think she was buying a safe vehicle. The used SUV had recently passed a safety inspection at a Winnipeg Canadian Tire.
But when it broke down just 20 minutes after she handed over $5,000 to the private seller in early February — the 20-year-old college student found herself with a vehicle too dangerous to drive and no recourse.
“My car just suddenly broke down in the middle of a turning lane,” said Harper, who worked minimum wage jobs for more than a year to afford the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. “I was really, really furious. It was my first car.”
The seller fixed the engine problem, but it made Harper question how safe the vehicle really was despite what Canadian Tire said.
So in early March, she brought the vehicle to Todd Holmes, a certified mechanic and a family friend.
“As soon as he put it on the hoist, he told us he was going to stop right there because it was an instant fail. We shouldn’t drive it,” said Harper’s dad, Paul Skirzyk.
The frame was corroded, Holmes said. His finding was later confirmed by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) during a third inspection on March 30 — which also found 10 more safety issues.
“It could be very catastrophic,” Holmes told Go Public. “You have a frame that disintegrates during an accident, it could cost someone their lives.”
Harper and her family fought for compensation for more than three months. They say the seller blamed Canadian Tire for failing to catch the problems, MPI wouldn’t help and a manager at the Canadian Tire location said it wasn’t the company’s problem.
Go Public contacted Winnipeg’s Polo Park Canadian Tire franchise and the company’s head office. The company then reimbursed Harper what she paid for the vehicle, calling it a “goodwill gesture,” according to an email from the company’s head office.
The company told Go Public that all “protocols were followed” by the location that did the initial inspection and that the authorized mechanic “believed that the vehicle met the requirements” to be granted a Certificate of Inspection, indicating it was safe to drive.
Canadian Tire said the damage to the frame could have happened when the engine was replaced. Read more
What else is going on?
A passenger was forced to drag himself off an Air Canada flight after the airline failed to provide wheelchair assistance A representative from Air Canada has apologized, admitting they were “in violation of the disability regulations.”
940,000 Insignia pressure cookers recalled in Canada and U.S. due to burn risk There have been 17 injuries reported in the United States, none in Canada.
This refugee family was relocated to a hotel after their rental was infested with mice and cockroaches In Ontario it’s the landlord’s responsibility to treat pests, but this landlord is saying the pests entered the home because the family didn’t keep it clean.
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