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April 23, 2015
 
 

Environment Canada to Review Environmental Effects of Microbeads

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According to the Hansard logs of parliamentary action, it was announced in the House of Commons on March 24, that all parties had voted to support an NDP motion to eliminate microbeads and end pollution in waterways.

Environment Canada is launching a scientific review to assess the effects of microbeads on the environment. A panel of experts will document future action on microbeads and announced the government has come up with an "innovative" chemicals management plan to prioritize microbeads for assessment. 

Microbeads are tiny plastic beads produced for use as abrasives in cosmetics and personal care products. Buoyant, multicolored and often spherical, these plastic microbeads are washed down bathroom sinks, pass through wastewater treatment plants, and end up discharged into water where they persist for decades. Mistaken for food by aquatic organisms, microbeads serve as a pathway for pollutants to enter the food chain and contaminate the fish and wildlife we eat.

Environment Canada will work in co-operation with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and supports including the issue of microbeads on the agenda for the council meeting this summer (2015).

 

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