Toxic clothing; YouTube cracks down on anti-vaccine content: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

Consumer and health news you need from the week

Miriam Diamond, a professor at the University of Toronto, oversaw the lab testing Marketplace commissioned to test for PFAS, heavy metals and phthalates in clothing. Here, she’s holding a purse from Shein that contained over five times the amount of lead that Health Canada considers safe in children’s products. (CBC)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Are you a fast fashionista? You'll want to read this before your next purchase

If you buy cheap fast fashion from online retailers, you might be exposing yourself to potentially toxic chemicals. 

Marketplace bought clothing and accessories from AliExpress, Boohoo, Fashion Nova, Shein, Zulily and Zaful and asked researchers at the University of Toronto to test for toxic chemicals. 

The investigation found that out of 38 samples of children's, adult's and maternity clothes and accessories, twenty per cent had elevated levels of chemicals — including lead, PFAS and phthalates — that experts found concerning. 

Some products sold by AliExpress, Shein and Zaful were found to contain potentially harmful levels of chemicals. 

"People should be shocked," said Miriam Diamond, an environmental chemist and professor at the University of Toronto.

After Marketplace brought its findings to the companies, the products in question were removed from each Canadian website. Read more

WATCH | Toxic chemicals found in some fast-fashion clothing:

Toxic Clothing

2 months ago
Lab tests expose toxic chemicals found on new clothes. And how to fight back against overseas fraudsters. 22:30

YouTube moves to block and remove all anti-vaccine misinformation

YouTube is stepping up its efforts to prevent anti-vaxxers from sharing misinformation. 

The company is moving to block and remove all content that spreads misinformation about vaccines against COVID-19 and other illnesses, such as measles, hepatitis and chickenpox.

YouTube said in a blog post on Wednesday that any content that "falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects" will be removed.

The decision comes as YouTube and other tech giants, such as Facebook and Twitter, have been criticized for not doing enough to stop the spread of false health information on their sites. Twitter recently started flagging a lot more of its content as misleading or "manipulated media" and has increased the number of accounts it has banned either temporarily or permanently. Read more

Earlier this year, Marketplace reported on the anti-vaccination movement and how COVID-19 misinformation is spread

YouTube has announced it is cracking down on anti-vaccine content. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Being a flight attendant isn't easy. Anti-maskers are making it harder

It's not just COVID-19 that's making life in the air stressful for flight attendants these days. It's the passengers too.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says flight attendants noticed an increase in bad behaviour over the summer. They say verbal altercations with passengers are common and affect flight attendants' mental health.

Many of the problems stem from passengers who refuse to obey the federal requirement to wear a face mask on board. Transport Canada data shows reported incidences of passenger non-compliance with the mask mandate spiked over the summer.

Airlines reported 330 passengers to the regulator for refusing to wear a mask during July and August, more than twice the number of incidents reported in April and May. Read more

Calgary-based WestJet Airlines says it has issued travel bans against 118 passengers for mask non-compliance since September of last year. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

What else is going on?

COVID-19 vaccine boosters recommended for long-term care residents, national advisory committee says
The recommendation does not apply to seniors living independently in the community.

Facebook puts plans to build Instagram for kids on pause after facing opposition
The initial announcement was met almost immediately with hostility from legislators and child advocates.

This Paw Patrol costume is a flammability hazard 
Consumers should immediately take the recalled Kids Paw Patrol Skye Costume away from children and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

These all-purpose cleaners have been recalled due to a lack of child-resistant packaging and improper labelling
Consumers should immediately stop using the products and safely dispose of them in accordance with local municipal hazardous waste requirements.

Marketplace needs your help

Do you love shopping for clothes? Do you care about ethical fashion? We want to hear from you! Drop us an email and let us know where you buy your clothes at  

Watch our season premiere!

We're back! You can watch our season premiere Toxic Clothing on CBC Gem now.

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