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Canada Takes More Action To Protect Human Health

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, and the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today announced as part of Canada's Chemicals Management Plan that eight new chemicals are now deemed to be toxic to human health, and one chemical is deemed toxic to the environment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), 1999.

The Chemicals Management Plan was announced by Prime Minister Harper in December 2006, making Canada a world leader in assessing and regulating chemicals that are used in thousands of industrial and consumer products.

“When we announced the Chemicals Management Plan in 2006 we made it clear our goal was to protect the health of Canadians from harmful substances," said Minister Clement. "We identified these substances as a priority for action a year ago and our final assessments have confirmed that eight of these substances are toxic to human health and one is toxic to the environment."

“Protecting and preserving our environment goes hand in hand with protecting the health of Canadians,” said Minister Baird. “These conclusions are an important step in protecting Canadians and their environment from the long-term harmful effects of chemicals.”

These nine chemicals were part of a batch of 15 chemicals, which were identified last year as high priorities and underwent a full risk assessment.

"Toxic" substances in Batch 1 include:

* CHPD (Yellow Dye)

o "toxic" to the environment;

o currently used as a dye in plastics dye and possibly used as a dye for paints

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* 1,2-benzenediol and 1,4-benzenediol

o "toxic" to human health

o generated as a by-product of kraft pulp production photographic developing solutions (1,2-benzenediol) and manicure preparations, hair dyes and skin lightening cream (1,4-benzenediol)

* Methyl- and ethyloxirane

o "toxic" to human health

o used in production of chemicals found in paint strippers, aerosol paints and as a starch modifying agent (methyloxirane) and as a stabilizer in industrial solvents (ethyloxirane)

* Toluene diisocyanates (TDIs) – (3 substances)

o "toxic" to human health

o found in flexible and semi-flexible polyurethane foam

* Naphthalene – "toxic" to human health

As part of the assessment, information was collected and assessed to determine whether these substances pose a risk to Canadians' health or the environment and if any further action may be needed to minimize possible risks. The Government required industry and other stakeholders to provide information on specific substances.