Government of Canada Releases Latest Data on Exposure to Environmental Chemicals

Third set of biomonitoring data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey provides valuable insight into Canadians' exposure to environmental chemicals

OTTAWA, July 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, Health Canada released its Third Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada.  This technical report provides the results of the biomonitoring component of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) and presents comprehensive data on the exposure of the Canadian population to environmental chemicals, such as triclosan, and several volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Biomonitoring data is used by scientists to assess if there are potential health risks from the chemicals present in our everyday lives and will be used to measure the effectiveness of existing risk management actions protecting the health of Canadians. Biomonitoring initiatives such as the Canadian Health Measures Survey are an important component of the Government's actions on chemicals, including the Chemicals Management Plan.

The CHMS, led by Statistics Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, is an ongoing national survey that collects information relevant to the health of Canadians through home interviews and direct physical measurements. The biomonitoring component of the CHMS involves the collection and analysis of blood and urine samples to measure concentrations of certain environmental chemicals. The CHMS also provides information on chronic and infectious disease, physical fitness, nutrition, and other factors that influence health. 

The data for Cycle 3 were collected between January 2012 and December 2013 from approximately 5,800 Canadians aged 3 to 79 years at 16 sites across Canada. Cycle 3 included the measurement of 48 environmental chemicals, including 33 that have been measured in previous cycles.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is a world leader in chemicals management. Biomonitoring initiatives such as the Canadian Health Measures Survey are an important component of the Government's actions on chemicals.
  • The Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) has made Canada a world leader in assessing and managing the risks associated with substances that are used in thousands of industrial processes and consumer products.
  • The Government created the Chemicals Management Plan in 2006 to assess chemicals used in Canada and take action on those found to be harmful.
  • Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to provide $491.8 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, to renew the Chemicals Management Plan and continue to assess and manage the risks to human health and the environment from new and existing chemical substances.
  • This second phase is building on the successes and lessons learned from the first phase of the CMP and will continue to focus efforts to protect the health of Canadians and their environment.
  • Cycle 3 of the CHMS was expanded to include sampling of environmental chemicals in household tap water; in addition to indoor air sampling, which was introduced in Cycle 2. This will allow for better understanding of potential sources of exposure to certain chemicals.
  • This information, along with information collected in future cycles, will enable Health Canada scientists to assess whether our exposure to chemicals is changing over time, and to determine whether chemicals we are exposed to may be harmful to our health.
  • So far, levels of chemicals measured in the general Canadian population are similar through the three completed cycles of the CHMS.
  • This information, along with information collected in future cycles, will enable Health Canada scientists to assess whether our exposure to chemicals is changing over time.

Quotes

"Canada is a world leader in chemicals management because of the Chemicals Management Plan. The Canadian Health Measures Survey biomonitoring component is an important part of our actions on chemicals. The information collected through this survey helps us to better understand our exposure to environmental chemicals and to assess what actions we need to take to protect the health and safety of Canadian families."
Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health.

Associated Links

Canadian Health Measures Survey 
Overview of the Third Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada
Overview of the Second Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada
Overview of the First Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada

 Please visit the Chemical Substances website for more information on how the Government of Canada manages chemicals. 

 

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709


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