News Analysis

Canada Puts Chemicals Under Scrutiny

Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper unveiled a new Chemicals Management Plan in December 2006, in which the government would put CA$300 million towards the assessment of about 4,000 substances over four years. As part of its plan, the government has launched a new website where citizens can learn about the chemicals and track the assessment process.

The new plan grows out of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), passed in 1999, which called for the screening of 23,000 substances that were introduced to the market before 1986. Canada did not begin more intensive pre-market risk assessment procedures until 1994, and CEPA does not address substances introduced in the interim. The preliminary screening was completed in September 2006, with the substances categorized by their toxicity. Approximately 4,000 substances were marked as needing further attention because they were deemed to be persistent or bioaccumulative and inherently toxic to the environment, or because they were inherently toxic to humans or offered great potential for human exposure.

Published January 2, 2007

Wendt, A. (2007, January 2). Canada Puts Chemicals Under Scrutiny. Retrieved from