Canada | Order Adding Selenium and its compounds to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999: SOR/2021-89



Issues - The Department of the Environment and the Department of Health (the Departments) found, as a result of their screening assessment on selenium and its compounds, that under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (PDF) [CEPA or the Act], selenium and its compounds meet the ecological and human health criteria as set out in paragraphs 64(a) and 64(c) of CEPA, respectively. As a result, under subsection 90(1) of the Act, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health (the ministers) recommended to the Administrator in Council (AiC) to make the Order Adding Toxic Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to add selenium and its compounds to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA.

Background - The Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) is a federal program that assesses and manages chemical substances and micro-organisms that may be harmful to the environment or human health. The ministers assessed selenium and its compounds in accordance with sections 68 and 74 of CEPA as part of the CMP.

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Summary of the screening assessment

A screening assessment was conducted to determine if selenium and its compounds meet one or more of the criteria for a toxic substance as set out in section 64 of CEPA. Specifically, this involves determining whether selenium and its compounds are entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that

(*) (a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;

(*) (b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or

(*) (c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.

The assessment of selenium and its compounds considered the combined exposure to all selenium compounds from natural or anthropogenic sources, whether they are present in water, sediment, soil, air, food, or products available to consumers. The screening assessment concluded that selenium and its compounds meet the criteria for a toxic substance set out in paragraphs 64(a) and 64(c) but not 64(b) of CEPA. Below are summaries of the ecological and human health assessments.


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