July 2014 Bulletin

Flushing toxic chemicals: New GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals tool identifies hazardous chemicals in common household products

CELA and Clean Production Action (CPA) recently released a comprehensive assessment of the hazards posed by two antibacterial chemicals commonly used in household products such as liquid soaps and toothpaste. GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals, a globally recognized tool for comparative chemical hazard assessment, was used to assess the environmental and human health profile of the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban. Extensive use of these chemicals in common household items has raised concerns since 95 per cent of these products are flushed down the drain. The GreenScreen assessments found that triclosan is a Benchmark 1 substance – a chemical to be avoided and Triclocarban is ranked as a Benchmark 2 with very high aquatic toxicity. Our report received widespread, international media attention. (Triclosan and Triclocarban chart © Jason Drees )

Flushing trouble: Focus on the Great Lakes

CELA Associate Researcher Anne Wordsworth explains what happens after triclosan and tricoclarban-tainted products are flushed down the drain in this blog post.

CELA calls on Ontario MPPs to support Radon Bill

CELA echoes the position of the Ontario Lung Association in urging all Ontario MPPs to support Bill 11, The Radon Awareness and Prevention Act, 2014. If enacted, this new law would help increase awareness about radon, the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It would also establish an Ontario Radon Registry which would help reduce radon exposure in homes and workplaces throughout the province. CELA will seek a hearing before the Standing Committee on General Government where the bill has been referred, after second reading.

CELA addresses Toronto’s proposed changes to the Pollution Prevention (P2) Program

CELA made a submission to Toronto City Council on proposed changes to pollution prevention program requirements under the City’s Sewers By-law. We raised concerns about the introduction of reporting thresholds that would weaken the overall effectiveness of the program.

What’s so wrong with fracking? Everything!

Fracking, whereby large volumes of fluid containing chemicals and other agents, such as sand, are injected into rock formations to fracture rock and release trapped oil and gas, is environmentally destructive. Several organizations have petitioned Environment Canada to review the process.CELA Counsel Joe Castrilli takes the federal government to task for its handling of this issue in a CELA blog post.

Making submissions to improve Great Lakes water quality

CELA and several environmental organizations made a submission on the draft 8th Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health (COA). The submission outlined several recommendations.