Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
Annual Report to Parliament for April 2020 to March 2021:
chapter 7

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7. Report on research

ECCC and HC conduct a wide range of research to help inform assessment and management of the risks associated with various substances to human health or the environment. This research is often done in collaboration with scientists in other agencies and universities across Canada and the world. This section provides highlights of the research published in 2020-2021.

7.1 Chemical substances

Research on chemical substances is designed primarily to:

In addition, HC undertakes research to support the development of regulations, guidelines and air quality objectives with the goal of reducing population exposure to pollutants and improving human health.

During 2020-2021, research on chemicals was carried out by both departments under a number of programs, including the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), the Strategic Technology Applications of Genomics in the Environment Program, Genome Canada and the Great Lakes Protection Initiative.

7.1.1 Environment and Climate Change Canada research

In 2020-2021, work on 19 new CMP research projects initiated in 2019-2020 continued, but at a slower pace than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related suspension of laboratory and fieldwork for the entire year. Some of the latter work was able to progress for those research projects conducted in partnership with universities that only experienced short shutdown periods. It is worth noting that significant progress was made for all research projects in terms of data analysis and publication of manuscripts. Thirty-five papers related to chemicals in the atmosphere were published by ECCC scientists in 2020-2021, with references to a selection of these articles provided below as examples. Chemicals in the atmosphere Impact of chemicals on wildlife and fish

7.1.2 Health Canada Research

HC funded 27 CMP research projects in 2020-2021. These projects address departmental and international priorities and cover a number of subjects such as characterization of nanomaterials, toxicological response to nanomaterials, carcinogenic potential of chemicals, genetic toxicity assessment, effects of chemicals on human health, and hazard characterization. Methods Exposure Characterization Effects of chemicals on human health Nanomaterials

7.2 Air pollutants and greenhouse gases

Air quality research efforts help quantify priority air pollutants and determine trends, improve and validate air quality predictions both in the near term and into the future within the national and global context. These efforts also enhance understanding of the impacts of air pollution on Canadians and the environment. The research also tackles emerging issues, and underpins and informs evidence-based policy and regulatory development.

7.2.1 ECCC Research

Ongoing research continued on a wide range of air pollutants, including short-lived climate pollutants, ammonia, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone, and particulate matter/aerosols. Over 44 research papers on the topics of air pollutants and GHGs were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals in 2020-2021. The following are representative examples of that body of work.

7.2.2 Health Canada research

In 2020-2021, HC continued to conduct research on human exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants and their health impacts in order to guide actions to address air pollution by governments, industries, other organizations and individuals. HC scientists published approximately 58 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. These addressed issues such as implications of air pollution exposure on the number of COVID-19 cases in communities; the effect of air pollutants on birth outcomes and on the development of diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and cancer; the risks associated with elevated exposure to traffic and industrial pollutants; and the interactions between air pollution and physiological and psychological stress.

The following includes a list of some of the projects in which HC was engaged in during 2020-2021.

7.3 Water quality

ECCC continued water quality research activities during 2020-2021.

7.3.1 ECCC research

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