Canadian Consulting Engineer
New cancer-causing substances to be subject to air emission controlsEngineering
Consulting engineers involved in industrial projects should note that the Government of Canada is proposing to add...
Consulting engineers involved in industrial projects should note that the Government of Canada is proposing to add three cancer-causing air pollutants to the list of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Scientific assessements conducted by Environment Canada and Health Canada were released early in May. The public has 60 days to comment on the proposals to add the substances to Schedule 1 of CEPA before the government makes its decision.
The three substances are ethylene oxide, formaldehyde and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Ethylene oxide is used to produce ethylene glycol and in manufacturing other compounds. Formaldehyde is used in producing resins and is found in motor vehicle exhaust and tobacco smoke. NDMA is not used in Canada but is released as a byproduct in manufactring pesticides, rubber tires and dyes. NDMA has also been detected in drinking water and in automobile exhaust. The government is expecting companies to re-design industrial processes or develop alternative substances to help cleanup the sources of the toxic substances.
A number of recent studies have shown the correlation between air pollution and health effects.
The release of final assessment reports for the three substances starts a two-year time clock for the developing of preventive or control measures under CEPA. The government has a further 18 months to enact the measures under tough new deadlines for action on toxic substances in CEPA.