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Canada acts to strengthen ban on toxic fire retardants

Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Environmental Defence are welcoming the news after having filed a formal Notice of Objection to federal toxic regulations announced in 2006. Those regulations banned the import of two out of three PBDE mixtures but exempted the most widely used mixture, known as DecaBDE.


OTTAWA — Environmentalists are welcoming a new federal strategy that outlines a comprehensive ban of toxic polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs), a common fire retardants used in consumer products.


"This comprehensive ban on all PBDEs in all consumer products marks a real step forward in Canada's approach to regulating toxic chemicals," said Lisa Gue, environmental health policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation.


The objection filed by the groups argued that the government's assessment of DecaBDE was outdated and called for a comprehensive ban, which prompted Environment Canada to update its assessment of DecaBDE. Based on the findings of this scientific review, the government proposed a revised PBDE
strategy to match European restrictions on DecaBDE in electronics and now also bans PBDEs in plastics and textiles.


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