GLOBE SERIES

Milestone reached in chemicals management plan

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Source: GLOBE SERIES

Another milestone in Canada's Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) has been reached with the release of assessments of 13 potentially harmful substances.

Launched in 2006, the CMP focuses on assessing and regulating chemicals that are used in thousands of industrial and consumer products.

Draft screening assessment reports for 13 substances of Batch 10 of the Chemicals Management Plan have been released. Proposed risk management information on this batch of substances was also provided for those considered likely to require actions to reduce risks.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. 'This release of this next round of draft screening assessments marks another important milestone in our work to reduce Canadians exposure to harmful substances.'

The Government is proposing that one of the substances assessed in Batch 10, hydrazine (including hydrazine hydrate, a form of hydrazine in water), may be harmful to human health and the environment. Hydrazine is an industrial chemical that also occurs naturally in tobacco.

Exposure to the general population is expected to be low, as it is used mainly as a corrosion inhibitor in boiler water used at power generating plants.

In addition to proposing that hydrazine be added to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), recommended options for risk management focus on preventing or minimizing releases of hydrazine into water by facilities in Canada using boilers to produce steam or electricity.

The Government is also proposing that a future 'use notification tool' be applied to this substance (in addition to other risk management activities). This would require that any proposed new manufacture, import or use be subject to further health and ecological assessment, and would determine if the new activity requires further risk management consideration.

Furthermore, the Government is also recommending that the Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions of CEPA 1999 be applied to two additional substances (nickel BHMB and RFBS).

The Government's draft assessments indicate these substances do not pose a risk at this time under CEPA 1999; however, if enacted, this would require that any proposed new manufacture, import or use of these two chemicals be subject to further assessment, and would determine if the new activity requires further risk management consideration.

Notices containing summaries of the draft screening assessment reports were published in Canada Gazette, Part I, on June 26, 2010. The complete draft screening assessment reports for all Batch 10 substances and the proposed risk management scope for hydrazine can be found on the Chemicals Management Plan website

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments on the draft screening assessments and proposed risk management scope before August 25, 2010.

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