Chemicals Management Plan progress report: summer 2018

About this report

This 10th issue of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) progress report covers activities between January and June 2018. It also provides information about future 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 page on the canada.ca website. You can have the latest news emailed to you by subscribing through the website. This feature will also let you know how to get involved in information sessions and consultations. Feedback and suggestions can be sent to eccc.substances.eccc@canada.ca.

Highlights

CMP highlights

Substance assessment progress

Since the launch of the CMP in 2006, the Government of Canada has:

  • addressed 3534 of the 4,300 chemicals identified as priorities for attention by 2020-2021, including draft and final assessments;
  • found 457 existing chemicals to be harmful to the environment and/or human health;
  • implemented 90 risk management actions for existing chemicals (additional tools are in development); and
  • received approximately 5,909 notifications for new substances prior to their introduction into the Canadian market. These notifications have been assessed and over 291 risk management actions have been taken, when necessary, to manage potential risks to Canadians and their environment.

Risk assessment and risk management highlights

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. The following are the highlights of recent risk assessment and associated risk management activities for various initiatives under the CMP:

Prioritization results for the revised in commerce list  

As part of the CMP, Health Canada developed an approach to prioritize the substances on the Revised In Commerce List. This list considers these substances within the scope of their potential use in products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act.

In 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada published an Inventory update. The main objective of Part 4 of the Inventory Update was to determine the commercial status of substances listed on the Revised In Commerce List, including quantities and how they are used under the Food and Drugs Act. The information will be used to focus risk assessment efforts on substances that are in commerce, rather than those that no longer appear to be in commerce. Information from this Inventory Update could also be used to remove substances from the Revised In Commerce List.

The prioritization approach was risked-based and built on recommendations from multi-stakeholder consultations held between 2007 and 2011. It also incorporated experience gained from categorizing the Domestic Substances List and the subsequent evaluation of its priorities, as well as from assessing new substances notified under the New Substances Notification Regulations of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. A document describing the prioritization approach was published on the CMP website on November 27, 2015.

The prioritization process was applied to approximately 3,500 substances to separate those that are unlikely to require further work from those that represent priorities for risk assessment, or which require further information.

Prioritizing substances on the Revised In Commerce List resulted in approximately 25% of substances being prioritized for further evaluation. The remaining 75% were of reduced priority. Prioritization results have been published on the CMP website, along with information on whether concerns to human health, the environment, or both were the driver for any higher priority decisions. The Revised In Commerce List was then
republished to reflect the removal of substances on the Domestic Substances List in order to reduce redundancy.

Substances identified as higher priority will be given further consideration and will be further refined through information gathering and a risk-based approach. Substances identified as being of reduced priority do not require further consideration in the context of the Revised In Commerce List prioritization exercise. However, this does not exclude future action to manage these substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The rationales, whether for low concern or potential concerns to human health, the environment, or both, were based on preliminary information. New information could shift the focus of further consideration or potentially eliminate concerns.

Completing this prioritization process is a significant accomplishment of one of Health Canada’s priorities under the CMP. It was innovative in adapting the current risk assessment model to prioritize about 3,500 substances, for which the quantity and quality of available information varied widely.  More work is planned for the Revised In Commerce List, including support documents, detailing which substances were thought to meet various criteria, information gathering and analysis, and risk assessment of higher priority substances. The purpose of these documents is to set the stage for initiatives that will further clarify the regulatory status of substances on this administrative list.

New studies released on lead fishing tackle and lead ammunition

As part of its commitments under the Risk management strategy for lead, on April 5, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada published two studies, one on lead fishing tackle and one on lead ammunition. The studies focus on how lead sinkers and jigs and ammunition are used, and also provide information on product supply chains, the effectiveness of non-lead alternatives, quantities released and actions taken in other jurisdictions.

These studies, along with the feedback received from stakeholders during the 60-day comment period, will help develop an approach to encourage the use of lead-free ammunition, sinkers and jigs in Canada. The Government will engage the provinces, territories and stakeholders to determine an appropriate path forward. To read the full studies and executive summaries, visit the Moving towards using lead-free fishing tackle and Moving towards using more lead-free ammunition webpages.

New federal environmental quality guidelines on the horizon

Draft Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines for four substances, bisphenol A, hexavalent chromium, perfluorooctane sulfonate and triclosan, were published for 60-day public comment period in the Canada Gazette on February 11, 2017. Final guidelines for triclosan were published on December 9, 2017. The final Guidelines for the remaining three substances will be published in the Canada Gazette in summer 2018. Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines are developed under section 54 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Their use is voluntary unless prescribed by regulation or binding agreement.

Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines have previously been published for alcohol ethoxylates, cobalt, hydrazine, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, chlorinated alkanes, hexabromocyclododecane, tetrabromobisphenol A and vanadium. See the Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines webpage for a full list.

Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines are based solely on toxicological information and are in line with the protocols published by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment for the development of Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines. While Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to work with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to develop Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines, Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines have been developed to support federal programs under the Chemicals Management Plan (environmental quality monitoring, risk assessment, risk management and performance measurement), the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan and other Environment and Climate Change Canada activities.

For information, contact Doug Spry, National Guidelines and Standards Office, Science and Risk Assessment Directorate, at 819-938-5076 or doug.spry@canada.ca.

General news

National forum on strategy for disposal of lamps containing mercury

On February 27 and 28, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada hosted a national forum on the development of a National Strategy for Safe and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Lamps Containing Mercury. The two-day event was attended by more than 50 participants from federal departments, provinces, territories, industry and Indigenous and non-governmental organizations. Building on stakeholder feedback and other information gathered to date, forum participants contributed to defining a vision for the strategy, desired outcomes, elements to include in the strategy, and proposed priority actions. The event represented a key step towards developing a National Strategy for Safe and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Lamps Containing Mercury.

Proposed amendments to the products containing mercury regulations

On February 1, 2018, a consultation document on the proposed amendments to the Products Containing Mercury Regulations was published by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The intent of the document was to inform stakeholders about the main elements of the proposed amendments and to gather comments during the 60-day comment period.

The comments received will be compiled and shared with stakeholders. Environment and Climate Change Canada is targeting spring 2019 for publication of the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and 2020 for the final amendments.

The objective is to align the regulatory requirements with the Minamata Convention, an international treaty which Canada ratified in April 2017. Other amendments were also proposed to align with recent industry standards and international regulatory initiatives.

Proposed prohibition of asbestos and asbestos products regulations

The Government published proposed regulations prohibiting the import, use, sale and offer for sale of asbestos and products containing asbestos, as well as the manufacture of products containing asbestos, for public comment on January 6, 2018. On the same day, it also published proposed amendments to the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations, aimed at controlling the export of asbestos and products containing asbestos, as well as a proposed order adding five forms of asbestos to the Export Control List.

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

The ban includes a number of initiatives, such as the development of regulations prohibiting asbestos and asbestos products, and regulations controlling exports of asbestos and asbestos products under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. These initiatives are being led by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada.

The regulatory development process has included three opportunities for consultation:

The information and comments received throughout these consultations are being considered in the development of the final regulations, which are expected to be published in 2018. With the publication of the new regulations on asbestos, the Asbestos Products Regulations under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act will no longer be needed and are expected to be repealed.

Health Canada is also Raising Awareness about the Health Impacts of Asbestos. Proactive communications efforts, such as those mentioned on page 10 of this Progress Report, 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.

New reports on the effectiveness of pollution prevention planning notices and environmental performance agreements

Environment and Climate Change Canada developed two reports summarizing the effectiveness of Pollution Prevention Planning Notices (often referred to as P2 Notices) and Environmental Performance Agreements. The reports summarize the results, the factors that may have influenced performance and the overall effectiveness of these instruments in managing risks from toxic and non-toxic substances.

The Pollution Prevention Planning Notice Public report summarizes the results of 10 completed Pollution Prevention Planning Notices. These notices required 563 facilities to prepare and implement pollution prevention plans to reduce environmental releases of 21 toxic substances. Of the facilities that implemented pollution prevention plans, 92% were successful in achieving the risk management objective. Many of the facilities that did not meet the objectives were still able to achieve considerable reductions. These results helped contribute to the overall reduction of pollution into the environment since 2003. Pollution Prevention Planning Notices can be effective in changing industry behaviour and achieving results to help protect the environment and human health.

The second report summarizes the results of 13 Environmental Performance Agreements completed since the implementation of the Policy Framework for Environmental Performance Agreements in 2001. Over 175 companies/facilities participated in these 13 Environmental Performance Agreements to manage risks from selected pollutants, including substances deemed toxic. The analysis of the overall effectiveness of these agreements showed them to be successful instruments in managing risks. The primary objectives were fully met in 77% of agreements, partially met in 8% and not met in 15%, though these still had positive impacts and results. The commitment made by industry to reducing risks to the environment and human health is evident in the results achieved through agreements completed to date and continues to be reflected in agreements that are currently active. To request a copy of this report, send an email to: ec.epa-epe.ec@canada.ca.

The lessons learned from analyzing these two reports will help Environment and Climate Change Canada better design and implement Pollution Prevention Planning Notices and Environmental Performance Agreements to ensure increased effectiveness.

International regulatory requirements for skin sensitization testing

Health Canada is supporting international efforts via the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development to evaluate and adopt alternative non-animal approaches for skin sensitization assessment. To identify opportunities for regulatory uses of non-animal replacements, a review of regulatory skin sensitization testing requirements was conducted amongst seven countries or regions represented in the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods: Brazil, Canada, China, European Union, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

The work was recently published in the Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Journal. It provides a summary of data needs for hazard classification, potency classification and risk assessment by chemical sector, which include cosmetics and personal care products, household products, industrial chemicals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and workplace chemicals. Preferred tests have also been noted, where applicable, along with information on whether non-animal tests are acceptable. The review clarifies needs and uses for skin sensitization information, which vary across sectors, as well as countries and regions.

Current non-animal validated tests of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are not stand-alone replacements for animal skin sensitization tests. A number of approaches that use a combination of multiple testing and non-testing information sources (in vitro, in chemico, in silico) have been developed to predict skin sensitization potential. These approaches are currently being evaluated for skin sensitization assessment by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. These combined efforts will inform strategies and next steps for the adoption and use of alternative approaches in the assessment and management of potential skin sensitizers.

Information gathering initiatives

Update on information gathering

The Government of Canada sought feedback from stakeholders on information gathering and supporting activities conducted under the third phase of the CMP. Stakeholder engagement and consultation are important components of the CMP, and this feedback helps inform planning of future information gathering initiatives.

Information on the commercial status of certain substances was collected through the 2017 Inventory Update. This information continues to be used to inform priority setting, risk assessment and risk management activities. Based on the information received, approximately 40% of substances surveyed were found to be in commerce in Canada. To increase transparency and facilitate access to information on substances in commerce in Canada, the Government of Canada is committed to providing summaries of information received in response to information gathering initiatives. A summary of the
non-confidential data collected through the 2017 Inventory Update will be made available on the Chemical Substances website in early 2019.

Information was also collected on the commercial status of Bisphenol A (CAS RN 80-05-7) and related bisphenols in Canada between February and April 2018. A voluntary survey was used to request an update from stakeholders who previously submitted information on Bisphenol A under the CMP as part of Batch 2 of the Challenge. Information was requested for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 calendar years on the types of activities (manufacture, import and use) stakeholders were engaged in with regard to Bisphenol A and related bisphenols. Analysis of the collected data will help determine whether further activity, including information gathering, is required.

In addition to the activities noted above, targeted voluntary data gathering was also conducted to address data needs for substances included in the third phase of the CMP.

These voluntary follow-ups were based on information collected under previous inventory updates.

The Government continues to encourage voluntary submissions, as these are critical sources of information for risk assessments and risk management activities, where applicable. Information gathering initiatives are timed to inform priority setting, risk assessment and risk management activities. In the case of risk assessments, the information is most useful when received six months in advance of the assessment start date. Information can be submitted through the online reporting system on Environment and Climate Change Canada's single window by selecting the “Chemicals Management Plan reporting module” and “Chemicals Management – General”.

An updated two-year rolling information gathering plan has recently been published and provides an overview of active and potential upcoming information gathering initiatives. Visit the Information gathering initiatives webpage for information about ongoing and future initiatives. Feedback and suggestions can also be sent to eccc.substances.eccc@canada.ca.

Program updates

Amendments to the new substance notifications regulations (organisms)

Amendments to the new substance notifications regulations (organisms) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on February 21, 2018. The amendments introduce an exemption for micro-organisms used in agricultural research studies that are conducted by professional personnel according to the safety practices commonly followed by agricultural researchers, and where production of the organisms is consistent with the physical containment and operational practices described in the Canadian Biosafety Standard and associated guidance. The amendments also introduce a requirement to notify the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada when a living organism that has been assessed under schedules 1 or 5 of the New Substance Notifications Regulations (Organisms) has first been imported into or manufactured in Canada. This notice will facilitate the addition of these living organisms to the Domestic Substances List. Other amendments address comments made by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations on the inconsistency between the English and French versions, while another amendment updates the standards for containment.

Update on the National Pollutant Release Inventory

Each year, data reported by over 7,000 facilities across Canada on pollutant releases, disposals and transfers for over 300 substances is made available to the public on the National Pollutant Release Inventory website.

The deadline for reporting to the National Pollutant Release Inventory for 2017 was June 1, 2018. Preliminary 2017 data is planned for public release in July 2018 and will be available on the National Pollutant Release Inventory online facility data search webpage. Reviewed data for 2017 is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2018, once the quality control process has been completed.

Recent changes were made to the list of reportable substances to ensure it remains current, relevant and supports CMP activities. These changes, which will take effect for reporting of 2018 data, are detailed on the Report to the National Pollutant Release Inventory program webpage.

Work is ongoing to develop proposals for changes to the 2020 requirements to better support the CMP and other Environment and Climate Change Canada activities. The National Pollutant Release Inventory Multi-Stakeholder Work Group is consulted on these changes. As the proposals become available, they will be added to the Public consultation webpage.

Consultation and engagement

Current consultations

Proposed Regulations Amending the Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations

To ensure consistency with the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade Facilitation, the Government of Canada has proposed amendments to the Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations to exempt goods in transit. In addition, the proposed amendments seek to clarify language of the regulatory text and standardize certain laboratory provisions.

The proposed amendments were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on March 31, 2018, for a 75-day public comment period ending June 14, 2018.

The Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations protect Canada’s environment by limiting the amount of phosphorus in laundry detergents, household dish-washing compounds and certain household cleaners that are manufactured or imported into Canada.

For further information on the proposed amendments, please visit the Regulations amending the concentration of phosphorus in certain cleaning products [proposed] webpage.

Stakeholder engagement

Public outreach on asbestos

Health Canada continues to raise awareness about the health impacts of asbestos to motivate Canadians to take action to protect themselves. Information on asbestos, including health risks, sources of exposure and how Canadians can protect themselves and their families, is available on the Health risks of asbestos page on the Canada.ca website.

An infographic entitled Asbestos in the home was published to Canada.ca in February 2018 and continues to be promoted through Health Canada’s social media channels. In addition, a series of social media posts have been published to help inform Canadians of the health risks associated with asbestos.

A recent campaign of news articles and radio spots on asbestos, with a focus on DIY renovations and home mechanics, reached over 16 million Canadians. Additional stories were released this spring and have already reached over 17 million Canadians.

Health Canada videos currently being developed will be available on Canada.ca and will also be promoted through social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Health Canada outreach staff are also engaging Canadians on this topic by attending trade shows and special events (e.g., home shows) across the country.

Stay informed and help spread the word by following us on Twitter @GovCanHealth and Facebook @HealthyCdns.

CMP stakeholder advisory council

The CMP Stakeholder Advisory Council is a stakeholder group that contributes to the implementation of the CMP. The Council meets twice a year. Its last meeting was in May 2018 and its next meeting is scheduled for November 2018. The council’s webpage provides summary reports of its meetings and activities.

CMP multi-stakeholder workshops

CMP multi-stakeholder workshops are offered twice a year and focus on consultations on current and future CMP topics. Planning is underway for the next workshop, which is scheduled for fall 2018.

CMP science committee

The new CMP Science Committee held its first meeting in January 2018, where it discussed informed substitution. The summary report of the meeting will be published in summer 2018.

The second Committee meeting took place on July 18 and 19, 2018, and focused on advancing screening and assessment of endocrine active substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The End-of-Term report, which summarizes the Committee’s activities for the previous term and the departments’ use of input, was published in June 2018.

International news

Minamata Convention on Mercury

Following the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, held in September 2017, Canada was nominated to an expert group that is undertaking foundational work to evaluate the effectiveness of the Convention. From March 5 to 9, 2018, Canada hosted a five-day meeting of the expert group in Ottawa, which welcomed observers, such as the Inuit Circumpolar Council of Canada. Canada is a strong proponent of international action on mercury and fully supports an effective treaty, as over 95% of the mercury pollution resulting from human activity deposited in Canada comes from foreign sources.

The Government of Canada will continue to engage stakeholders in 2018 to prepare for Canada’s participation at the second Conference of the Parties, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, November 19 to 23, 2018.

Update on the intersessional process on the strategic approach to international chemicals management

Canada has always been an active partner in chemicals management on the international stage, especially as our international partners look to the future, beyond 2020.  David Morin, Health Canada, and Leticia Reis Carvalho, Environment Ministry, Brazil, are the co-chairs of an intersessional process set into motion in 2015 by the International Conference on Chemicals Management.

The co-chairs steered the process at the first meeting in February 2017 in Brasilia, Brazil, and at the second meeting in March 2018, in Stockholm, Sweden. The key objective of the second meeting was to begin developing five elements of a proposed framework for chemicals and waste beyond 2020, including: vision, policy principles, objectives and milestones, implementation arrangements (including finance) and governance.

The co-chairs will use the outcomes of the two meetings to prepare a document outlining potential recommendations for the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. The recommendations will be presented at the third meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group, scheduled for February 2019. To ensure Canada is effectively engaged in this process, in the coming months, Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada will engage Canadian stakeholders through various CMP mechanisms, including the multi-stakeholder workshop on
May 31, 2018.

For more information and updates on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the intersessional process, please visit the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 - The Intersessional Process webpage.

Publications and notices

Notice of the publication of the Microbial Identification Framework for Risk Assessment

The Microbial Identification Framework for Risk Assessment provides guidance on the information required for identifying micro-organisms notified under the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms). It is a detailed technical document intended to help notifiers with the choice of methodology and the analysis of scientific data required for adequate microbial identification.

Notice of intent to formally close nominations to the revised In commerce list

Health Canada is placing a notice in the Canada Gazette announcing the intention to formally close acceptance of substance nominations to the revised in commerce list. The revised In commerce list is a list of substances used in products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act that were in commerce between January 1, 1987, and September 13, 2001. Unlike the domestic substances list, this list lacks any formal statutory authority. The Revised In Commerce List was first published on May 3, 2013, but is still periodically updated to reflect new information, including nominations that continue to be received by the program. In order to create a static list to finalize the prioritization of substances on the Revised In Commerce List, the nomination process will be terminated, and no further nominations will be accepted.

Recent publications

List of recent publications released

Recent significant new activity publications

List of recent Significant New Activity publications released.

Coming publications

Titles for the following will be finalized when each item is published in the Canada Gazette.

Draft screening assessments and risk management scopes (when needed)

Final screening assessments and risk management approaches (when needed)

  • Cellulomonas biazotea and Arthrobacter globiformis
  • Bacillus circulans, Bacillus megaterium, Micrococcus luteus and Chaetomium globosum
  • Trichoderma reesei
  • Bacillus thuringiensis

Coming significant new activity publications

  • A Notice of intent to amend the Domestic Substances List to apply the significant new activity provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to the substance acetamide, N-(4-ethoxyphenyl)-, also known as phenacetin, Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 62-44-2.
  • A Notice of intent to amend the Domestic Substances List to apply the significant new activity provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to the substance hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, calcium salt, also known as 2-EHA, Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 136-51-6.
  • A Notice of intent to amend the Domestic Substances List to apply the significant new activity provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to the substance ethane, 1,2-dimethoxy- also known as monoglyme, Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 110-71-4.
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