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Risk Assessment and Management of Existing Chemical Substances in Canada: The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., November 20, 2009

In Canada, like the U.S., there were tens of thousands of “existing” chemicals that remained unreviewed for possible health or environmental effects.  In just a few years following passage of key legislation in 1999, however, Health Canada and Environment Canada completed their categorization of some 23,000 chemicals, identifying about 4,300 chemicals for further review, and about 200 high-priority chemicals for detailed assessment.  Now those agencies are working through those 200 chemicals systematically, conducting risk evaluations and in some cases recommending risk management actions.  Health Canada’s recommendation to ban plastic baby bottles made with bisphenol A rocked the baby bottle market, effectively implementing market deselection.  The Canadian approach to chemicals management has implications for the U.S. as the introduction of legislation to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act nears. 

This alert reviews the key provisions of the legislation and how it has been implemented, then makes some observations on lessons for TSCA reform.  To read the full alert, please click here.

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