Canada's Chemicals Management Program Making Progress

Two top Canadian officials -- Minister of Health Tony Clement and Minister of the Environment John Baird -- announced the next step in the country's Chemicals Management Plan on Feb. 18. First announced by the prime minister in December 2006, the plan accelerates risk assessment and management actions for priority chemicals. "We are taking the issue of harmful chemicals very seriously because we understand that there are some chemicals out there that are inherently dangerous and can remain so for a long time," Clement said. "I am proud to be reporting progress on this important initiative."

"We are taking action every day to meet the tough timelines we've set in order to ensure these chemicals are addressed quickly and efficiently," said Baird. "We will make timely decisions to ensure that any risks associated with certain substances are minimized as soon as possible."

The chemicals industry and stakeholders have been providing Environment Canada and Health Canada with information on batches of 15 to 30 substances every three months. They have until June 17, 2008, to provide information on how they are using and managing chemicals in the fifth of 12 batches. The government will assess the information it receives on how the substances are managed; unless it concludes they are already being safely managed, it will take more actions.

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