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Canada Nominates LC-PFCAs under the Stockholm Convention

2021-08-31

On the 5th of  August, the Government of Canada nominated long-chain PFCAs, their salts and related compounds (also known as precursors) for consideration under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The Stockholm Convention is a multilateral treaty aimed at protecting human health and the environment by eliminating/restricting the global production and use of POP.s POPs are chemicals that: 

  • remain intact in the environment for a long period of time 
  • accumulate in living organisms 
  • are harmful to humans and/or to the environment 
  • have properties that cause them to travel long distances and become widely distributed throughout the environment 

Although long-chain PFCAs, their salts and related compounds have previously undergone a Canadian ecological screening assessment, the report concluded that long-chain PFCAs, their salts and their precursors are entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment. The manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale or import of long-chain PFCAs, their salts and precursors and products that contain them have been prohibited since 2016, under the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 , with a limited number of exemptions. However, these substances have not been evaluated in Canada from a human health perspective. 

Human and animal toxicity data are not available for every long-chain PFCA, salt or related compound. However, considering that long-chain PFCAs have similar structures and substances with similar structures behave similarly in the body, all of these substances may be associated with similar health effects. 

Furthermore, a growing number of jurisdictions, including the United States, Australia and the European Union, are developing action plans to address the PFAS class of chemicals, including long-chain PFCAs. 

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