04/14/2014 06:21 EDT | Updated 06/14/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta hopes forcing bars, restaurants, stores to put up signs will reduce FASD

EDMONTON - Alberta hopes forcing bars, restaurants and liquor stores to put up signs will help prevent fetal alcohol syndrome disorders.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission says businesses must help raise awareness that pregnant women should not drink alcohol.

Bill Robinson, president of the commission, says FASD is 100 per cent preventable.

Fetal alcohol syndrome can cause serious birth defects, including brain damage.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the disorder is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability.

The Canadian Pediatric Society says the disorder is found across Canadian society, but is a bigger problem in some First Nation and Inuit communities.

One of the signs features a picture of pregnant woman with the caption: "Warning — drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects and brain damage to your baby."

Human Services Minister Manmeet Bhullar says all Albertans have a role to help make drinking while pregnant a social taboo.

"The effects of FASD on children are devastating, but through common sense initiatives like this, we will bring instances of FASD down by raising needed awareness and encouraging people to step up and say 'No' when they see someone drink alcohol while pregnant," he said Monday in a release.