Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) – performance measurement evaluation

The Government of Canada assessed PBDEs in 2006 and concluded that all 7 PBDEs pose a risk to the environment. PBDEs do not pose a risk to human health, since human exposure is currently not at a level of concern. There are no known natural sources of PBDEs; however, they are potentially released to the environment throughout their lifecycle, from the chemicals themselves and from products containing them.

The environmental objective outlined in the Risk Management Strategy for Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) was to protect the Canadian environment from the 7 PBDEs by reducing amounts in the environment to the lowest levels possible. The risk management objective, which specifies the type of action needed to meet the environmental objective was to prevent PBDEs from being manufactured in or imported into Canada and to minimize releases of PBDEs to the Canadian environment.

The performance measurement evaluation found that domestic actions have resulted in steady progress towards preventing the manufacture, import, and use of PBDEs in Canada, and in minimizing releases. Canada's continued cooperation and leadership in national and international initiatives on PBDEs is required as PBDEs still enter Canada through imports of finished products and through long-range transport. The upcoming amendments under the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 will further reduce releases of PBDEs from products and recycled materials to help meet environmental and risk management objectives in the risk management strategy.

The performance measurement evaluation recommends that Environment and Climate Change Canada focus its continued efforts to address PBDEs i n 4 main areas: environmental monitoring of PBDEs; managing risks associated with PBDEs; communicating with the public; and engaging nationally and internationally.

Complete details on the performance measurement evaluation for PBDEs can be found in the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Risk Management for Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs).

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