Chemicals management plan progress report

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Table of Contents

About this report

This eighth issue of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Progress Report covers activities between January and June 2017. It provides information about events, dates of interest and future engagement opportunities.

The report is produced jointly by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada.

For information about the CMP, or to find previous issues of the CMP Progress Report, visit the Chemical Substances website. You can have the latest news emailed to you by subscribing through the website. This feature will also let you know how to be involved in information sessions and consultations. Feedback and suggestions.

CMP highlights

Since the launch of the CMP in 2006, the government has:

New chemical substances website

The Chemical Substances website has moved to the new Government of Canada website, Canada.ca. Our new homepage.

All URLs have changed; however old addresses will redirect to the new ones until October 2017. Please update your bookmarks.

If you notice a problem or have any concerns, please contact.

Highlights

Proposed regulations on asbestos expected by the end of 2017

The government expects to publish proposed regulations prohibiting the import, use, sale and offer for sale of asbestos, as well as the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and import of products containing asbestos, for public comment by the end of 2017.

On December 15, 2016, the Government of Canada announced a whole-of-government approach to fulfill its commitment for a comprehensive ban on asbestos, and products containing asbestos, by 2018.

The comprehensive ban includes a number of initiatives, one of which is the development of regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. This activity is being led by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada.

To date, the regulatory development process has included two opportunities for consultation. First, a notice of intent was published on December 17, 2016, to seek input on the general approach.

Following that, a consultation document providing details on the proposed regulatory approach was published on April 21, 2017 to seek additional information and comments.

The information and comments received on the notice of intent and the consultation document are being considered in drafting the proposed regulations.

Health Canada is also raising awareness of the health impacts of asbestos.  Proactive communications efforts are ongoing to provide Canadians with clear and consistent information on the health risks associated with asbestos exposure, as well as protective actions people can take to reduce their exposure.

Results of mandatory information-gathering on asbestos

In December 2016, the Notice with respect to asbestos was also published to obtain information on the manufacture, import, export and use of asbestos and products containing asbestos in Canada for the years 2013 to 2015, as well as socio-economic information. The information is being used to inform the development of proposed regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 that would seek to prohibit all future activities respecting asbestos and products containing asbestos.

Formaldehyde regulations being developed

To protect the health of Canadians, the Government of Canada is developing regulations to reduce emissions of formaldehyde from composite wood products.

Formaldehyde can be a significant component in resins used as adhesives or binders in composite wood products. Testing has shown that it is released from more than 90% of selected composite wood products tested, and releases increase with higher temperatures and humidity.

The regulatory development process will include consultations with stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, industry, non-governmental organizations, the public and other stakeholders. The proposed regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in early 2018.

The Government of Canada and other jurisdictions have concluded that formaldehyde is a human health concern at elevated levels.

Short-term exposure can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and may worsen asthma symptoms, particularly in children. Longer-term exposure may be linked to respiratory symptoms and allergic sensitivity in children. At very high levels, formaldehyde can cause cancer of the nasal passageways.

Given the human health concern and the lack of a mandatory tool to reduce indoor emissions of formaldehyde from composite wood products, a Notice of Intent to develop regulations on formaldehyde under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on March 18, 2017.

The proposed regulation is being developed as a nation-wide approach to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain wood products produced domestically and imported into Canada. These regulations recognize current North American activities, specifically those of the United States Environmental Protection Agency which published Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products in December 2016. This Environmental Protection Agency final rule will come into force in December 2017.

Government phasing out the use of microbeads in toiletries

The Government of Canada has published regulations to phase out the use of microbeads in toiletries to protect the long-term health of the environment and to help keep Canada's lakes and rivers clean.

Because plastic microbeads - found in such things as scrubs, bath products, facial cleansers and toothpastes - pose a risk to the environment, plastic microbeads that are five millimetres or smaller in size were added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 on June 29, 2016.

The regulations will phase out the manufacture, import, and sale of microbeads in toiletries used to exfoliate or cleanse. This includes non-prescription drugs and natural health products that contain plastic microbeads.

As of January 1, 2018, the manufacture and import of toiletries that contain plastic microbeads will be prohibited, unless the toiletries are also natural health products or non-prescription drugs, in which case prohibition will begin on July 1, 2018.

As of July 1, 2018, the sale of toiletries that contain plastic microbeads will be prohibited, unless the toiletries are also natural health products or non-prescription drugs, in which case the prohibition will begin on July 1, 2019.

Risk assessment and risk management

The government assesses and manages, where appropriate, the potential health and ecological risks associated with chemical substances. It does so through various initiatives, each targeting a different group of chemicals. Here are highlights of the risk assessment and associated risk management activities between January and June 2017 for various initiatives:

Coming risk management publications and consultations

Risk management

The government publishes a two-year rolling workplan of risk management activities and consultations. The workplan covers items such as risk management documents, information-gathering initiatives, risk management instruments, performance measurement initiatives and international risk management activities and will include many of the following initiatives:

New federal environmental quality guidelines on the horizon

Federal environmental quality guidelines are being developed under section 54 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Their use is voluntary unless prescribed by regulation or binding agreements.

Draft federal environmental quality guidelines for bisphenol A, hexavalent chromium, perfluorooctane sulfonate and triclosanwere published for a 60-day public comment period in the Canada Gazette on February 11, 2017. Based on comments received the guidelines may be updated with final publication in the Canada Gazette.

Final guidelines have already been published for alcohol ethoxylates, cobalt, hydrazine, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, chlorinated alkanes, hexabromocyclododecane, tetrabromobisphenol A and vanadium.

The guidelines are being developed using approaches consistent with the assessment processes used by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and for ecological screening of substances.

For information, contact the National Guidelines and Standards Office, Science and Risk Assessment Directorate.

Chemical and polymer risk assessment summaries

The New Substances Program is expanding the scope of the risk assessment summary project.

The program has since November 2013 only been publishing risk assessment summaries for new chemicals and polymers for which a restriction had been imposed and for which a notice has been published in the Canada Gazette.

Beginning in the summer of 2017, it will begin publishing additional summaries for new chemicals and polymers that meet the following criteria:

This expanded publication program will see approximately 90 new chemical and polymer risk assessment summaries published each year.

New substances program: progress on living organisms

Between April 2016 and March 2017:

New substances program: progress on chemicals and polymers

Between April 2016 and March 2017:

Risk management progress

Performance measurement evaluates the ongoing relevance, success and effectiveness of the actions taken to manage risks for substances determined to be toxic under criteria set by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. In other words, it looks at whether objectives have been met for human health and environmental concerns.

Here are highlights from recent monitoring and performance measurement activities

Bisphenol-A (BPA)

Review and analysis of recent product testing and other research projects demonstrated that the desired result for human health, which was to minimize the exposure of infants to BPA to the greatest extent practicable, has been met.

The two major exposure sources for infants at the time of the assessment (2008) were liquid infant formula and polycarbonate baby bottles.

In 2010, polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA were banned. By 2014, the manufacturers of infant formula had abandoned or phased out the use of packaging containing BPA for liquid infant formula. Product testing of both the baby bottles and formula packaging has confirmed that BPA is no longer found in these products. As a result, the health objective of reducing the risk to infants from exposure to BPA has been met.

Mercury

Review and analysis of recent biomonitoring data demonstrated that progress towards the desired result for human health, which was to minimize exposures to mercury to the greatest extent practicable, continues to be made.

For example, levels of mercury in the most exposed and most susceptible population (pregnant women in the North) are continuing to decrease, as demonstrated by biomonitoring data. Canada has also made extensive progress domestically towards minimizing anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury to the Canadian environment.

PFCAs (perfluorocarboxylic acids)

The signatories to the Environmental Performance Agreement on PFCAs and related substances sold in Canada met their commitment to eliminate PFCAs in their perfluorochemical products sold in Canada by the end of 2015.

This was the conclusion of an evaluation, completed in 2017, of data received from signatories to the agreement.

The participating companies had voluntarily made the commitment and reported annually to Environment and Climate Change Canada information on the content of their perfluorochemical products sold in the country.

This risk management instrument was successful in capturing many of the companies who sell PFCAs in Canada.

The Environmental Performance Agreement on PFCAs was developed by the Government of Canada as an early risk management measure on PFCAs to prevent their manufacture and import into Canada.

Following the expiry of the Environmental Performance Agreement, PFCA substances, notably perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (LC-PFCAs), were added to the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012. These regulations prohibit the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and import of PFOA and LC-PFCAs, with a limited number of exemptions.

As risk management is an ongoing process, the program will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of these risk management measures. If the government is not satisfied that the risk has been sufficiently prevented or reduced, it can take further action.

Releases and publications

Petroleum substances

February 2017

Substance groupings initiative

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

Micro-organisms

January 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice were published for:

The final screening assessment and the related notice was published for:

February 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice was published for:

CMP3 substances

January 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice were published for:

February 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice were published for:

March 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice were published for:

April 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice were published for:

June 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice were published for:

Polymers

March 2017

The draft screening assessment and the related notice were published for the second phase of the Polymer Rapid Screening.

Update on other chemicals management plan initiatives

Update on third phase of the CMP

The Government of Canada published an update on Chemicals Management Plan initiatives in June 2017. A new web page outlining all initiatives under the third phase of the CMP is part of this update.

Included in this update are workplans for the next two years, including:

Also included are:

Planned CMP information-gathering initiatives

Information-gathering notices published in the Canada Gazette

Since January 2017, the government has published three mandatory notices in the Canada Gazette under the information-gathering provisions of section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

More information on these notices, including deadlines, guidance on how to report and a link to the online reporting tool, is available on the Information-gathering Initiatives web page of the Chemical Substances website.

CMP2 information-gathering summaries available

To promote transparency, the government has published summaries of non-confidential information received in response to data gathering conducted for the Substance Groupings Initiative of the second phase of the Chemicals Management Plan. A descriptive summary and Excel data sheets for each CMP2 substance grouping are planned to be availableon the Government of Canada's Open Data platform when ready. The documents compile responses to the mandatory notices, as well as information provided on a voluntary basis. Summaries for more recent initiatives will continue to be published in the same manner.

New information-gathering plan

A two-year rolling information-gathering plan has been made available to the public. This plan is intended to provide stakeholders with an overview of active and potential upcoming information-gathering initiatives. This includes the time periods during which mandatory notices may be published, as well as when non-mandatory initiatives may be in effect. There is also a new information-gathering main page, and information-gathering initiatives web page.

New 'information sheets'

The Public Summary web product has been revised and renamed the CMP Information Sheet. The updated format is a result of input from stakeholders and information gained through a review of similar products in other jurisdictions. The Information Sheet provides an overview of the risk assessment and, where applicable, risk management activities for substance assessment under the CMP. Some enhancements include the addition of key health and ecological effects associated with substances and more links to related material. The new format will be used for assessments being published this summer.

CMP science committee

The CMP Science Committee will be renewed for a second term, and new core members are expected to be announced in the summer of 2017.

The Science Committee was created in 2013, and since its first meeting in February 2014, it has provided valuable input to the departments.

The CMP Science Committee website links to reports and meeting records.

Stakeholder advisory council

The Stakeholder Advisory Council is a stakeholder group that continues to contribute to the implementation of the CMP. The Council meets twice annually. It met this year in May and is scheduled to meet again in November. The Council's web page provides summary reports of its meetings and activities.

CMP multi-stakeholder workshops

CMP multi-stakeholder workshops are offered bi-annually with a focus on consultations on current and future CMP topics. Planning is underway for the next workshop, scheduled to take place in November 2017.

General news

Update on pesticides

Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency is in the process of finalizing itsCumulative Risk Assessment Framework.

A consultation process in the spring allowed the Pest Management Regulatory Agency to collect comments on the regulatory proposal, PRO2017-01; those comments are being considered as the framework is being finalized.

The consultation document describes the framework and methodology that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency will use for assessing the cumulative effects of pesticides with a common mechanism of toxicity, taking into account approaches of other chemical regulators.

In November 2016, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency also published a regulatory directive on management of pesticide re-evaluation policy. The policy describes the six phases of the re-evaluation process, outlining clear timelines and expectations, and aims at enhancing transparency, predictability and stakeholder engagement for the Pest Management Regulatory Agency's re-evaluation process. It also outlines the agency's commitment to publish an annual multi-year work plan on re-evaluations and special reviews.

New risk assessment series fact sheets available

The updated risk assessment webpage provides links to risk assessment fact sheets. The newest fact sheets are:

More fact sheets are planned on other topics related to risk assessment. Watch the Chemical Substances website for updates.

Rare earth elements, uranium and thorium in the indoor environment

The latest paper from the Canadian House Dust Study, published in Indoor Air, reports on nationally representative indoor dust concentrations and surface loadings of rare earth elements, plus uranium and thorium.

The rare earth elements include scandium, yttrium and the lanthanides, which are the 14 elements from lanthanum to lutetium in the periodic table.

Interesting correlations suggest primary indoor sources of the study elements, including:

Rare earth elements are in high demand because they are used in electronics and high-performing speakers, as tiny magnets in MP3 players and ear buds, and as colours in flat screen TVs and monitors. Rare earth elements are also used in green technologies such as hybrid car batteries, wind turbines and solar panels.

As their commercial relevance grows, occupational and environmental exposures to rare earth elements are expected to increase too.

The Canadian House Dust Study was designed to provide a nationally representative baseline against which changes over time may be monitored, and a point of comparison for human health risk assessments in areas impacted by mining and e-waste recycling.

The study used a rigorous random sampling approach to collect settled dust samples from 1,025 urban homes across 13 cities with a population greater than 100,000.

Information from this study will be used to inform risk assessments in CMP3 for the Uranium and the Rare Earth Elements Group (5 substances).

New biomonitoring report available this summer

Health Canada will release the Fourth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada in the summer of 2017.

The report will present data for 56 substances measured in the Canadian Health Measures Survey 2014-2015, including the first national data for parabens.

The report will be available on Health Canada's biomonitoring webpage, and summary data will be published on the Open Data Portal.

Tenth anniversary of national biomonitoring program

The national biomonitoring program conducted under the Canadian Health Measures Survey is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017.

Over the past decade, over 250 chemicals have been measured in 29,000 Canadians from three to 79 years of age at 81 sites across Canada.

The data are an important resource for assessing Canadians' exposure and informing risk assessment decisions and risk management actions under the Chemicals Management Plan.

Canadian network for human health and the environment

The Canadian Network for Human Health and the Environment, operated by the New Brunswick Lung Association, is working to facilitate engagement of health and environment stakeholders in CMP 3.

This type of capacity-building arrangement has been in place since the inception of the CMP. It enables civil society groups to submit evidence-based comments and feedback during the CMP public comment periods.

The network has nearly 500 members across Canada, including NGOs, researchers, academics and policy organizations. It will continue to expand its membership and awareness of CMP 3 through its newsletter, website, social media accounts and webinars.

The New Brunswick Lung Association has a long tradition of outreach to Canadians and will have a role to play in improving CMP communications and public outreach to Canadians.

Making it real: public outreach to Canadians

A renewed Ecolab exhibit at Montreal's Biosphere Museum opened in the spring of 2017.

The exhibit, operated by Environment and Climate Change Canada, was designed to integrate information about household environmental health issues, including indoor air quality, radon and water quality as well as chemicals used in the home.

In place for several years, Ecolab enables visitors to discover the steps of the scientific method in a laboratory setting. Its goal is, among other things, to make visitors aware of their influence as consumers by providing them with tools that will help them make more sustainable and healthy choices.

The renewed exhibit features interactive tools such as an interactive 3-D model of a house interior showing how Canadians can make better choices for their health, and a quiz game called Tic-Tac-Tox with tips and information on substances often found in the home, such as lead, carbon monoxide, mould and radon.

The project lead is Health Canada (Quebec Region), and the exhibit complements CMP public outreach to raise awareness on the potential risks and safer use of chemicals in the home.

New public opinion research shapes outreach strategy

Earlier this year, EKOS Research Associates conducted a national survey of 2,100 Canadians to better understand Canadians' information needs regarding the potential health risks from household chemicals, and the safer use of these substances.

Findings are shaping the CMP's five-year collaborative public outreach strategy. This includes new tools and messaging to communicate science-based program information to Canadians to encourage behaviour change and improve health.

Highlights of the research include:

Nanoscale prioritization results expected in 2018

Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada are in the process of prioritizing nanoscale forms of substances on the Domestic Substances List.

This follows a mandatory information-gathering survey, published under section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, which identified 53 substances as being manufactured and/or imported at the nanoscale in Canada.

Results of prioritization are expected to be available in the spring of 2018.

Looking forward, the government is working towards developing a scientific risk assessment framework for nanomaterials, and continues to work with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to promote consistency with other jurisdictions.

The goal of this initiative is to identify the potential risks to human health and the environment that may be posed by nanomaterials in commerce in Canada.

Exploring new approach methodologies

Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada have been involved in a number of international initiatives, including case studies, to explore the utility of new approach methodologies in regulatory risk assessment.

To date, this has included contributing to a European Chemicals Agency workshop on new approach methodologies in April 2016, a United States Environmental Protection Agency workshop on accelerating the pace of chemical risk assessment in September 2016, and the development and advancement of case studies within the OECD Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment Case Studies Project in 2015 and 2016.

World-leading experts participated in the November 2016 CMP Science Committee deliberations on new approach methodologies for priority-setting under the CMP. The CMP Science Committee meeting report and meeting record will be released on the Chemical Substances website in 2017.

Non-domestic substances list clean-up update

Environment and Climate Change Canada has begun a review of substances on the Non-domestic Substances List to determine whether risk management controls have been developed for these substances in the United States.

Under a first review, 741 substances were identified as being subject to risk management controls in the United States. A Notice of Intent to delete these substances from the Non-domestic Substances List was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on June 18, 2016, for a 60-day comment period.

Comments received were taken into consideration in the development of the final order, which was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on March 4, 2017. This order deleted a total of 736 substances from the list. The remaining substances are planned to be removed from the Non-domestic Substances List in 2018.

In future, annual reviews will enable the government to identify substances that may potentially be of concern and to propose they be removed from the Non-domestic Substances List. Future amendments to the list will also be preceded by a Notice of Intent published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day public comment period.

International activities

Strategic approach to international chemicals management

Canada continues to work with its partners in the International Conference on Chemicals Management and is taking a leading role in the intersessional process.

The intersessional process was initiated at the Fourth Session of the Conference in September 2015, to prepare recommendations on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. The recommendations will be addressed at the Fifth Session of the Conference, scheduled for 2020.

The first of three intersessional meetings planned between now and 2020 was held February 7-9, 2017, in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia. The meeting brought together approximately 270 delegates, including 67 government representatives, 39 people from industry and non-governmental organizations and 16 from intergovernmental organizations.

The first item of the meeting concluded with the election of David Morin, Director General of the Safe Environments Directorate of Health Canada, and Leticia Reis Carvalho of Brazil's Environment Ministry, as co-chairs for the international process.

The meeting also addressed progress of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management since 2014, and considered an interim report on the independent evaluation currently underway.

Participants devoted the majority of their time and effort to an exchange of ideas regarding elements of a global platform to promote the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020, when the International Conference's original mandate will end.

Elements under discussion included vision and scope; governance; maintenance of the current voluntary, multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach; processes for responding to new and emerging issues; financing implications of implementation beyond 2020; linkages to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and integration of the concepts of sustainable chemistry and green chemistry into a post 2020 agenda.

A co-chair's summary will inform the development of the documents to be discussed at the next intersessional meeting, scheduled for March, 2018.

For information, contact Suzanne Leppinen.

Canada ratifies Minamata convention on mercury

On April 7, 2017, the Government of Canada ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global agreement to reduce anthropogenic mercury emissions and releases to the environment here and abroad.

The Convention, a legally binding treaty negotiated under the United Nations Environment Programme, addresses all aspects of the mercury lifecycle.

Canada will be one of the main beneficiaries of this agreement as over 95% of anthropogenic mercury deposited in Canada comes from foreign sources.

Conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

The meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions were held in Geneva April 24-May 5, 2017. Parties discussed issues related to the listing of chemicals and pesticides, guidelines for environmentally sound management of wastes, compliance, technical assistance and financial resources.

For information including outcomes and decisions taken, see the Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions webpage.

Canada and the United States: progress on two initiatives

Canada and the United States have made important progress on the work plan for the chemicals management project under the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council.

The project has two initiatives, one on chemicals risk assessment, and one focusing on regulatory reporting requirements for new uses of chemicals.

Under the risk assessment initiative, an assessment collaboration framework is under development.

This framework, to be completed by December, 2017, will be founded on principles common to both jurisdictions and will support increased collaboration and longer term increased alignment on risk assessments.

Under the initiative on Significant New Activity provisions/Significant New Use Rules, work focused on developing educational materials. This  included a joint educational primer, a webinar series and a fact sheet for foreign suppliers.

A final report summarizing the work conducted under this initiative is expected to be published in the fall of 2017.

For information, contact ec.rcc-ccr_substances.ec.

Publications and notices

Recent publications

Recent risk management publications

Recent significant new activity publications

Coming publications

Science approach document

Draft screening assessments and risk management scopes (when needed)

Final screening assessments and risk management approaches (when needed)

Coming significant new activity publications

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