Ground Water Canada

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Eight chemicals of ‘mutual concern’ for Great Lakes designated by Canada, U.S.


June 8, 2016
By Ground Water Canada

Ottawa – Canada and the United States have identified eight chemicals that are in the Great Lakes because of human activities and that cause mutual concerns under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. These chemicals are potentially harmful to human health or the environment.

Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, and United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, recently made the announcement.

Following a comprehensive scientific review process and public consultations, the first batch of chemicals for designation are:

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  • hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
  • long-chain perfluorinated carboxylic acids (LC-PFCAs)
  • mercury
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs)

Once a chemical has been designated, Canada and the United States develop and implement strategies to address the chemical, reporting every three years on its status.

Input on developing a second set of Chemicals of Mutual Concern is being sought through the Canada-United States Collaboration for Great Lakes Water Quality at www.binational.net.