The Law on Toxics needs Reform

Find out more about how the Law on toxics must be reformed.

The case against toxic triclosan is solid and yet the government is not doing enough to stop this hazardous chemical from entering our waterways. We, along with many concerned citizens and organizations, think that the federal government should do better to ensure the highest protection for our water and aquatic ecosystems.

We also believe that the government’s weak response to triclosan is symptomatic of a much wider issue: the need to reform the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the main law used to manage toxics in Canada.

Organizations representing civil society have highlighted 11 priority areas that the government should consider. Some of these priority areas are particularly relevant to the case of triclosan like:

1. Including alternative assessment: This would require figuring out whether the product is needed for its function and whether alternatives exist that do not contain toxics.
2. Considering cumulative effects: This would involve looking at how the risk of toxic substances adds up when hazardous chemicals are combined.
3. Improving timelines: It takes too many years to currently assess toxic chemicals like triclosan. There should be a faster process to protect us.
4. Requiring mandatory labeling of products containing toxic chemicals: We have the right to know if toxic chemicals are present in the products we use.

We are monitoring the progress to achieve these priority goals and will keep you updated as opportunities arise to have an impact to protect our river from hazardous chemicals of which triclosan is a prime example.