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In the last two years, there has been lots of public concern about consumer exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) in soft drinks, baby bottles, etc.). Many vendors and retailers withdrew their BPA products; eco leaders now carry metal water bottles instead of plastic.

Environment Canada is now planning to regulate BPA, but not in consumer products. According to its consultation document, published in November, Environment Canada plans to regulate maximum BPA concentrations in industrial effluents, and is seeking appropriate sampling and testing methodologies for monitoring BPA releases from industry. As well, the government is considering requiring industries that handle BPA to implement an environmental management system.

In 2006, no significant amount of BPA was manufactured in Canada. However, a number of companies reported importing 500,000 kg of BPA and 5 companies reported using up to 1 million kg of BPA. “Significant releases” of BPA have been measured from industrial effluent and municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

If BPA is released to surface water, it can harm aquatic organisms.

The proposed regulations are to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I by October 17, 2010, with a 60-day comment period. Final regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II by April 2012.

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