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Ottawa boosts mercury regulations

Canada manufacturers and importers will have to abide to stricter regulations on mercury-containing products by May.


February 28, 2011
by Canadian Manufacturing Daily Staff

OTTAWA‑The Government of Canada announced it will start a regulatory process to prohibit the manufacture, import and sale of most mercury-containing products in Canada.

The new regulations will eliminate about four and a half tons of mercury in products entering Canada annually.

This is the first time the federal government has broadly regulated mercury found in manufactured products, said Minister of the Environment Peter Kent.

In the environment, mercury transforms into its more harmful form, methylmercury, which is absorbed by living organisms, like fish, and becomes more concentrated as it moves up the food chain.

Some mercury-containing products will still be allowed to be manufactured and imported here, including scientific instruments, dental fillings and fluorescent lamps.

Also, more intelligent labeling information for consumers will have to describe the amount of mercury in products and safe disposal instructions.