Paper towels and other cleaning products used to clean up the blood of those who have fallen ill after an emergency are to be made illegal.
Health Canada announced Monday it is banning them from hospitals in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
It is also banning other products such as deodorant and shower gel that are used to treat sore throats and other common skin conditions.
The Canadian Medical Association says they may cause “irreversible damage to the skin.”
“In the past, paper towels have been used to disinfect blood, but there is growing concern about bacterial contamination of the products used for this purpose,” said CMA president Dr. David MacDonald.
“These products are no longer approved by Health Canada, and it is time to put a stop to the practice.”
The CMA is urging the federal government to impose a ban on the paper towels as it continues to clean hospitals in the region.
The CBA said paper towels were used in hospitals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario from 1999 to 2009.
In 2014, the federal Health Department announced it would ban all paper towels in hospitals for use in respiratory care.
A statement from the department said it was concerned that these products may not be properly cleaned.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose said it’s important to remember paper towels are just a common cleaning product.
“While we are committed to keeping the environment clean, we have to remember that there are health impacts that come with this,” Ambrose said in a statement.
“We are taking steps to ensure that these paper towels do not contaminate the environment, but we are taking those steps in a responsible way.”