Strategies for eliminating and reducing persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances: common approaches, emerging trends, and level of success.
Over the past 13 years, government organizations in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. and internationally have developed strategies to eliminate and reduce the production, use, and release of persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances (PBTSs) in response to the mounting scientific evidence that toxic substances of this type pose greater risks to human health and the environment than do others. These unique risks result from the propensity of PBTSs to remain in the environment for a long time without breaking down; their potential to bioaccumulate in human, animal, or fish tissues; and their toxicity toxicity /tox·ic·i·ty/ (tok-sis´i-te) the quality of being poisonous, especially the degree of virulence of a toxic microbe or of a poison. . As a result of their characteristics, PBTSs often migrate from one environmental medium to another and travel thousands of miles via long-range atmospheric transport to regions far from where they originally entered the environment. Moreover, many species, especially top predators, can experience long-term cumulative exposures to PBTSs over their entire lifetimes.
The unique risks posed by PBTSs were first acknowledged by the governments of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and Canada in the Great Lakes Great Lakes, group of five freshwater lakes, central North America, creating a natural border between the United States and Canada and forming the largest body of freshwater in the world, with a combined surface area of c.95,000 sq mi (246,050 sq km). Water Quality Agreement (1978), which stated: "The discharge of any or all persistent toxic substances (should) be virtually eliminated" (International Joint Commission United States and Canada, 1989). Nearly all persistent substances have the potential to bioaccumulate.
PBTSs include some pesticides, such as aldrin aldrin (ôl`drĭn): see insecticides. ; some chemicals used in commerce, such as PCBs; some products of incomplete combustion combustion, rapid chemical reaction of two or more substances with a characteristic liberation of heat and light; it is commonly called burning. The burning of a fuel (e.g., wood, coal, oil, or natural gas) in air is a familiar example of combustion. , such as dioxins and furans; and some heavy metals heavy metals,
n.pl metallic compounds, such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel. Exposure to these metals has been linked to immune, kidney, and neurotic disorders. , such as mercury, lead, and cadmium cadmium (kăd`mēəm) [from cadmia, Lat. for calamine, with which cadmium is found associated], metallic chemical element; symbol Cd; at. no. 48; at. wt. 112.41; m.p. 321°C;; b.p. 765°C;; sp. gr. 8. .
This article reviews nine strategies for eliminating and reducing PBTSs, starting with the earliest and concluding with possibly the most recent. Although there are many other strategies for managing toxic chemicals Any chemical which, through its chemical action on life processes, can cause death, temporary incapacitation, or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in general, as well as for managing individual PBTSs, the ones reviewed here are the nine best-known strategies for managing PBTSs as a category.
Summary of Strategies
Ontario's Candidate Substances List for Bans and Phase-outs (1992)
In 1992, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment published its Candidate Substances List for Bans and Phase-outs (Socha et al., 1992), partly in response to the commitment of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to virtual elimination. The list identifies 27 substances. To develop the list, the ministry assessed the persistence (1) In a CRT, the time a phosphor dot remains illuminated after being energized. Long-persistence phosphors reduce flicker, but generate ghost-like images that linger on screen for a fraction of a second. , bioaccumulative potential, and toxicity of approximately 800 substances known to be present in the Great Lakes basin The Great Lakes Basin consists of the Great Lakes and the surrounding lands of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the United States, and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, whose direct runoff and . The Candidate Substances List for Bans and Phase-outs did not lead directly to the ban or phaseout phase·out
A gradual discontinuation. of any substances, although it served as an important precedent for subsequent strategies for eliminating and reducing PBTSs.
Canada's ARET A`ret´
v. t. 1. To reckon; to ascribe; to impute. Program (1994)
The multi-stakeholder Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET) Program developed a list of 117 PBTSs based on an evaluation of over 2,000 substances (Environment Canada Environment Canada (EC), legally incorporated as the Department of the Environment under the Department of the Environment Act ( R.S., 1985, c. E-10 ), is the department of the Government of Canada with responsibility for coordinating environmental policies and , 2003). In 1994, ARET issued a voluntary challenge to Canadian industry to virtually eliminate releases of 30 PBTSs on the list and to reduce releases of the other 87 substances to levels insufficient to cause harm. ARET also issued two short-term goals: To reduce emissions of PBTSs by 90 percent and all other emissions of toxic substances by 50 percent by 2000. ARET was judged to be successful by the Canadian government, which stated: "The ARET challenge proved to be very successful. By the year 2000 ARET succeeded in attracting participation from 8 major industry sectors, 171 companies and government organizations, and 318 individual facilities. Collectively, these participants achieved a total reduction in releases to the environment of almost 28,000 tonnes" (Environment Canada, 2003). One review of ARET found, however, that reported emission reductions had largely resulted from an economic downturn that had led to decreased industrial activity, rather than from the program itself (Environment Canada, 2000).
Canada's Toxic Substances Management Policy (1995)
Canada's Toxic Substances Management Policy (TSMP TSMP Texas School Music Project
TSMP Time-Synchronized Mesh Protocol ) contains two management objectives (Government of Canada The Government of Canada is the federal government of Canada. The powers and structure of the federal government are set out in the Constitution of Canada.
In modern Canadian use, the term "government" (or "federal government") refers broadly to the cabinet of the day and , Environment Canada, 1995a): 1) virtual elimination from the environment of toxic substances that result predominantly pre·dom·i·nant
1. Having greatest ascendancy, importance, influence, authority, or force. See Synonyms at dominant.
2. from human activity and that are persistent and bioaccumulative (referred to as Track 1 substances) and 2) management of other toxic substances and substances of concern throughout their entire lifecycles (referred to as Track 2 substances). The policy contains specific criteria for persistence and bioaccumulation bi·o·ac·cu·mu·la·tion
The increase in the concentration of a substance, especially a contaminant, in an organism or in the food chain over time. (Government of Canada, Environment Canada, 1995b). Toxicity is assessed using procedures outlined in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act The Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999 is "An Act respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development. , which also contains provisions to implement the policy.
The Toxic Substances Management Policy was reviewed in 1999 by the federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. The linkage between environment and development was globally recognized in 1980, when the International Union as part of a larger audit of how the Canadian government was managing the risks from toxic substances. In her review, the commissioner commented: "The Toxic Substances Management Policy ... is not being fully implemented, nor is there a government-wide plan to do so. Strategies for the management of specific substances, although required by the policy have not been developed or implemented. Established government objectives are not being achieved" (Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, 1999, [section] 4.140). She added: "The current programs are insufficient to ensure that risks will be adequately addressed in the future. Substance-specific objectives for the protection of human health and the environment have not been adequately defined, and agreed reductions in the release of toxic substances are not assured" (Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, 1999, [section] 4.141).
The Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative (1995)
In 1995, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America passed a resolution to improve the management of chemicals, giving priority to persistent, toxic substances of mutual concern to the United States, Canada, and Mexico (Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America, 2003). To accomplish this, the resolution called for the development of North American North American
named after North America.
North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.
North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus. regional action plans (NARAPs). To date, plans for six specific substances have been developed (DDT DDT or 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1,-trichloroethane, chlorinated hydrocarbon compound used as an insecticide. First introduced during the 1940s, it killed insects that spread disease and feed on crops. , chlordane chlordane (klōr`dān): see insecticide. , PCBs, mercury, dioxins/furans, and hexachlorobenzene).
In the future, the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative plans to emphasize implementation of the existing plans; reporting on emerging issues of concern; building partnerships and capacity; improving biomonitoring and environmental monitoring; and public involvement, communications, and outreach Outreach is an effort by an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public. (North American Working Group on the Sound Management of Chemicals, 2004). Thus, it is unlikely that many more substance-specific North American regional action plans will be developed.
Great Lakes Binational bi·na·tion·al
Of, relating to, or involving two nations. Toxics Strategy (1997)
The Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and [U.S. EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. ], 1997) is based on the commitment to virtual elimination of certain toxics made by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978 (International Joint Commission United States and Canada, 1989). The strategy identifies 12 "Level 1" substances as the primary focus for U.S. and Canadian government actions. These substances have been targeted for virtual elimination because of their actual or potential environmental effects and their presence in the Great Lakes basin. The strategy contains specific U.S. and Canadian "challenges" for individual Level 1 substances. The strategy also identifies 14 "Level 2" substances that are subject to pollution prevention activities. These substances were selected because they have the potential to significantly affect the Great Lakes ecosystem.
In 2001, the International Joint Commission reviewed the Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy (International Joint Commission, 2001). The review focused on the Level 1 substances and concluded that the strategy had achieved its purpose of setting forth a "collaborative process by which Environment Canada (EC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency "EPA" redirects here. For other uses see EPA (disambiguation) and Environmental Protection Agency.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA ..., in consultation with other federal departments and agencies, Great Lakes states, the Province of Ontario, Tribes, and First Nations, will work in cooperation with their public and private partners toward the goal of virtual elimination of persistent toxic substances resulting from human activity, particularly those which bioaccumulate, from the Great Lakes Basin, so as to protect and ensure the health and integrity of the Great Lakes ecosystem" (U.S. EPA, 1997). The review went on to state, however, that "many of the reductions made in releases of Level I substances cannot be attributed to the Strategy unequivocally" (International Joint Commission, 2001).
U.S. EPA's National PBT PBT Provider Backbone Transport (networking technology adding determinism to ethernet)
PBT Polybutylene Terephthalate
PBT Profit Before Tax
PBT Paper Based Test (education) Strategy: Working Draft (1998)
The U.S. EPA draft National PBT Strategy (U.S. EPA, 1998) focuses on the same 12 Level 1 substances addressed by the Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy, and it proposes to develop a national action plan for each one. Only one plan has been finalized See finalization. (for alkyl alkyl /al·kyl/ (al´k'l) the monovalent radical formed when an aliphatic hydrocarbon loses one hydrogen atom.
n. lead), and the strategy has never been finalized.
U.S. EPA's Waste Minimization Program (1998)
The Waste Minimization Program seeks to reduce or eliminate waste in manufacturing by focusing on 31 priority chemicals that are tracked through the Toxics Release Inventory The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a publicly available database from the EPA that contains information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities reported annually by certain covered industry groups as well as federal facilities. . Specifically, the program's goals include the "complete elimination of, or substitution for, priority chemicals, wherever possible" (U.S. EPA, 2005a). The principal vehicle for achieving the program's goals is the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities, which encourages public and private organizations to form voluntary partnerships with U.S. EPA to reduce the use or release of any of 31 priority chemicals. The goal is to reduce the amount of priority chemicals reported to the Toxics Release Inventory by 10 percent by 2008, with the year 2001 taken as a baseline.
U.S. EPA developed the Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool, partly to support the Waste Minimization Program (Notice of Availability of Waste Minimization Software and Documents, 1997). The tool is a software package that ranks substances according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. their persistence, bioaccumulative potential, and toxicity
U.N. Stockholm Convention Stockholm Convention is an international legally binding agreement on persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, which it defined as “chemical on Persistent Organic Pollutants Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes. (2001)
The U.N. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants requires the elimination or reduction of 12 persistent organic pollutants (United Nations Environment Programme, 2001). It also contains a process for adding new chemicals and a financing mechanism to help developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the obligations of the agreement. The convention entered into force in 2004, after it had been signed and ratified rat·i·fy
tr.v. rat·i·fied, rat·i·fy·ing, rat·i·fies
To approve and give formal sanction to; confirm. See Synonyms at approve. by 50 countries. At present, 114 countries have ratified the convention. They do not include the United States, which has signed but not ratified the convention.
Washington State's PBT Rule (2006)
In 2006, Washington State adopted a rule on PBTSs, making Washington the first state to have a regulatory strategy to manage PBTSs as a category of substance. Several other states have strategies for individual PBTSs, but no other state has a strategy for PBTSs as a group.
Washington's rule consists of a two-step process, comprising a procedure for selecting a list of PBTSs, and then one to select which PBTSs on the list will have "chemical action plans" prepared for them. The rule (Washington Department of Ecology The Washington Department of Ecology, or simply, Ecology, is an environmental regulatory agency for the State of Washington. The department administers laws and regulations pertaining to the areas of water quality, water rights and water resources, shoreline management, , 2006) comprises criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity, an initial list of PBTSs based on the criteria, a procedure for updating the list, criteria for selecting PBTSs for which chemical action plans will be prepared, and guidance on the scope of chemical action plans.
Commonalities Among the Strategies
All of the strategies considered in this review have the ultimate goal of eliminating or banning the use, production, release, or disposal of the most hazardous PBTSs, as well as of reducing releases of others. The precise meaning of the word elimination can, however, be problematic because advances in analytical chemistry analytical chemistry: see under chemistry. are permitting the measurement of ever-decreasing concentrations of substances. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999, which provides the legal authority for the Toxic Substances Management Policy, deals with this issue by defining "virtual elimination" as "the ultimate reduction of the quantity or concentration of the substance in the release below the level of quantification quan·ti·fy
tr.v. quan·ti·fied, quan·ti·fy·ing, quan·ti·fies
1. To determine or express the quantity of.
2. " (Department of Justice Canada Noun 1. Department of Justice Canada - an agency of the Canadian government that provides litigation and legal advice and opinions to the government
DoJC , 1999). Other strategies, such as Washington State's PBT Rule, do not define elimination, and they deal with this issue on a substance-by-substance basis.
Several of the strategies refer to the need for precautionary pre·cau·tion·ar·y also pre·cau·tion·al
Of, relating to, or constituting a precaution: taking precautionary measures; gave precautionary advice.
Adj. 1. action, including the Toxic Substances Management Policy, the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative, and the Stockholm Convention. The essence of the precautionary approach is that it is often necessary to take action on environmental health issues without complete scientific information on the risks. There are various ways of articulating the precautionary approach, but perhaps the best-known is Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration, which states that "where there are threats of serious or irreversible irreversible (ir´ēvur´sebl),
adj incapable of being reversed or returned to the original state. damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. " (U.N. Environment Programme, 1992). None of the U.S. strategies mention the need for a precautionary approach.
A second common principle is the lifecycle or cradle-to-grave approach. This refers to the management of PBTSs from manufacture and production through use and ultimate disposal. For example, the Toxic Substances Management Policy contains a section on lifecycle management (Government of Canada, Environment Canada, 1995a) that links this principle with pollution prevention (discussed below). Similarly, in its resolution 95-05, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America states that its Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative recognizes "the need to assess and develop strategies for addressing new and existing chemicals in North America, throughout their life cycles" (2003, p. 19). The Waste Minimization Program takes this principle a step further and promotes cradle-to-cradle management that emphasizes closed-loop management systems and recycling recycling, the process of recovering and reusing waste products—from household use, manufacturing, agriculture, and business—and thereby reducing their burden on the environment. whenever elimination or minimization are not possible (U.S. EPA, 2004).
Pollution prevention is a third principle common to several of the strategies. Pollution prevention has been defined as follows: "The reduction or elimination of pollution at the source (source reduction) instead of at the end-of-the-pipe or stack" (National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, n.d.). For example, the Toxic Substances Management Policy states that "pollution prevention is often the most cost-effective management strategy and in such cases will be promoted" (Government of Canada, Environment, 1995a, pp. 6-7). In contrast, in its resolution 95-05, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America simply states that "the prevention of pollution ... is both desirable and imperative in order to protect and improve the environment of North America" (2003, p. 20).
The environmental mobility of PBTSs poses a unique management challenge because it means that they can cross programmatic pro·gram·mat·ic
1. Of, relating to, or having a program.
2. Following an overall plan or schedule: a step-by-step, programmatic approach to problem solving.
3. , institutional, and jurisdictional boundaries with ease. Thus, strategies intended to manage PBTSs in a single environmental medium are likely to have limited success. Similarly, policies or legislation implemented by a single institution or jurisdiction are unlikely to manage PBTSs comprehensively.
Thus, a key design consideration in all of the strategies is the need for cross-program, multimedia approaches to PBTSs. This need is most clearly articulated in U.S. EPA's draft national PBT strategy which states that "EPA is committing, through this strategy, to create an enduring cross-office system that will address the cross-media issues associated with priority PBT pollutants pollutants
see environmental pollution. " (U.S. EPA, 1998, p. iv). Similarly, the Stockholm Convention is based on the recognition that an international approach is necessary for controlling the trans-boundary movement of PBTSs.
To achieve their goals of elimination and reduction, all of the strategies comprise two or more of the following four elements: criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity used to develop an initial list of PBTSs; an initial list of PBTSs; management objectives for individual PBTSs on the initial list; and a process for adding new substances to the initial list of PBTSs. Table 1 gives a comparison of these common elements in the nine strategies.
Criteria for Persistence, Bioaccumulation, and Toxicity
Six of the strategies contain physicochemical physicochemical /phys·i·co·chem·i·cal/ (fiz?i-ko-kem´ik-il) pertaining to both physics and chemistry.
1. Relating to both physical and chemical properties. criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity, including Ontario's Candidate Substances List, ARET, the Toxic Substances Management Policy, the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative, the Waste Minimization Program, and Washington State's PBT Rule. The most common way of determining persistence is to consider the half-life of the substance in the environment. A half-life can be defined as the time taken for half of a substance to degrade TO DEGRADE, DEGRADING. To, sink or lower a person in the estimation of the public.
2. As a man's character is of great importance to him, and it is his interest to retain the good opinion of all mankind, when he is a witness, he cannot be compelled to disclose or be transformed in the environment. Half-lives can be measured in various environmental media, including soil, water, and sediments. They vary depending on the medium, the specific degradation process studied, and site-specific conditions such as climate. The Toxic Substances Management Policy (Department of Justice Canada, 1999) and the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative (Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America, 2003) allow substances to be categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat as persistent if there is evidence of atmospheric transport to remote regions such as the Arctic.
The strategies determine bioaccumulation potential using one or more of three measures: the bioaccumulation factor bioaccumulation factor Toxicology The concentration of a chemical in tissue divided by its concentration in the diet (BAF BAF British Athletics Federation ), the bioconcentration factor Bioconcentration factor is the concentration of a particular chemical in a tissue per concentration of chemical in water (reported as L/kg). This physical property characterizes the accumulation of pollutants through chemical partitioning from the aqueous phase into an organic (BCF BCF Billion Cubic Feet
BCF Bioconcentration Factor
BCF British Chess Federation
BCF British Coatings Federation
BCF Breast Cancer Fund
BCF Bank Credit Facility
BCF Bulked Continuous Filament
BCF British Cycling Federation
BCF Boeing Converted Freighter ), and the log of the octanol-water partition A reserved part of disk or memory that is set aside for some purpose. On a PC, new hard disks must be partitioned before they can be formatted for the operating system, and the Fdisk utility is used for this task. (log Kow). BAFs and BCFs are more biologically relevant because they take account the metabolism metabolism, sum of all biochemical processes involved in life. Two subcategories of metabolism are anabolism, the building up of complex organic molecules from simpler precursors, and catabolism, the breakdown of complex substances into simpler molecules, often of an organism organism /or·gan·ism/ (or´gan-izm) an individual living thing, whether animal or plant.
pleuropneumonia-like organisms any of various bacteria of the genus Mycoplasma, , whereas the log Kow is a chemical measure only. BCFs are laboratory measures of the change in concentration of a substance from the environment into tissues, and BAFs are field measures that take account of actual availability in the environment. In brief, the log Kow is the most reproducible re·pro·duce
v. re·pro·duced, re·pro·duc·ing, re·pro·duc·es
1. To produce a counterpart, image, or copy of.
2. Biology To generate (offspring) by sexual or asexual means. but the least similar to real-life field conditions, and the BAF is the least reproducible but the most similar to field conditions.
All five strategies measure toxicity in terms of acute and chronic toxicity chronic toxicity Toxicology A condition caused by repeated or long-term exposure to low doses of a toxic substance , as well as carcinogenicity carcinogenicity /car·ci·no·ge·nic·i·ty/ (kahr?si-no-je-nis´i-te) the ability or tendency to produce cancer.
the ability or tendency to produce cancer. or teratogenicity ter·a·to·ge·nic·i·ty
The capability of producing fetal malformation.
teratogenicity, (terˈ· . Some use scoring systems Noun 1. scoring system - a system of classifying according to quality or merit or amount
classification system - a system for classifying things for toxicity that contain assumptions and values about the relevant importance of different types of health effects. The most complex scoring system is probably the Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool (Notice of Availability of Waste Minimization Software and Documents, 1997).
Initial Lists of PBTSs
Eight of the strategies have an initial list or lists of PBTSs for action. These lists vary in length from four substances (the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative) to 87 substances (ARET). There is a high degree of overlap in the substances listed in different strategies.
Management Objectives for Individual Substances on the Initial List(s)
Of the eight strategies with an initial list or lists of PBTSs for action, three provide management objectives for the individual listed substances (the Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy, U.S. EPA's draft National PBT Strategy, and the Stockholm Convention). For example, the Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy contains specific management objectives for the U.S. and Canadian governments for each of its Level 1 substances.
A Process for Adding New Substances
Five of the strategies contain a specific process for adding new substances to the initial list (the Toxic Substances Management Policy, the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative, the Waste Minimization Program, the Stockholm Convention, and Washington State's PBT Rule). These processes vary in terms of their length and complexity, but all require that candidate substances meet the criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity.
The role of economics has become more prominent in the strategies over time. Economic factors were not mentioned in the first two strategies (Ontario's Candidate Substances List and ARET). The Toxic Substances Management Policy states that "while socio-economic factors have no bearing on setting the ultimate objective for a Track 1 substance--its virtual elimination from the environment--such factors will be taken into account when determining and implementing risk management measures under this policy. For example, they will help to determine interim targets, appropriate management strategies and time lines" (Government of Canada, Environment Canada, 1995a, p. 9). All subsequent strategies have included economics as a factor to be considered in decisions about the elimination and reduction of PBTSs.
To date, the economic factors considered in decisions have focused on the costs of eliminating and reducing PBTSs. The societal so·ci·e·tal
Of or relating to the structure, organization, or functioning of society.
Adj. costs of the continued use of PBTSs, or the economic benefits of eliminating or reducing them, are not generally considered. The Waste Minimization Program recognizes this consideration, asking: "What are the true costs to society of toxicants that eventually find their way into the tissues of plants, animals, and people?" (U.S. EPA, 2005a). Some researchers are now beginning to answer this question by estimating the economic costs associated with the health and related effects of PBTSs (Landrigan, Schechter, Lipton, Fahs, & Schwartz, 2002; Trasande, Landrigan, & Schecter, 2005). The inclusion of information on both the costs of eliminating and reducing PBTSs and the costs of their continued use could facilitate decisions about the elimination and reduction of PBTSs.
In recent years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time role of health information in the identification of substances as PBTSs has increased in two ways. First, a broader range of health effects are being included in the toxicity criteria. For example, the toxicity criteria given in Ontario's Candidate Substances List refer only to acute and chronic/subchronic toxicity, carcinogenicity, and teratogenicity, whereas the more recent Washington State PBT Rule refers to carcinogens Carcinogens
Substances in the environment that cause cancer, presumably by inducing mutations, with prolonged exposure.
Mentioned in: Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer , developmental and reproductive toxicants, neurotoxicants, and acute and chronic toxicity (Washington Department of Ecology, 2006). This change probably has occurred because it is becoming clear that PBTSs are associated with a wide diversity of health effects. Second, it is likely that the increasing availability of epidemiological studies An Epidemiological study is a statistical study on human populations, which attempts to link human health effects to a specified cause. and the current policy climate in the United States are leading to a greater emphasis on studies that demonstrate actual effects in human populations.
The early strategies called for the elimination and reduction of PBTSs, without considering whether these goals were feasible or practical. Ontario's Candidate Substances List, ARET, and the Toxic Substances Management Policy do not mention the technological feasibility of elimination and reduction, or the availability of alternatives or substitutes. The idea that feasibility should influence the goals of elimination and reduction came later, in the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative, which states that the "availability of alternatives" is one of the considerations in nominating a substance for action (North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, 1997). The feasibility of elimination and reduction has been included in all subsequent strategies.
Over the years, there has been a trend toward nonregulatory environmental management approaches, including the use of voluntary, economic, and incentive-based instruments (Press & Mazmanian, 2006). This trend has also held for PBTS PBTS Performance-Based Treatment Systems
PBTS Public Basic Telecommunications Service (Singapore) strategies. Two of the early strategies, Ontario's Candidate Substances List and the Toxic Substances Management Policy, emphasized regulatory or command-and-control approaches. In contrast, the more recent strategies emphasize either voluntary approaches, as in the Waste Minimization Program, or blended approaches, as in Washington State's PBT Rule. None of the international strategies contain binding regulatory measures because of the need to safeguard national sovereignty
The Success of Strategies for Reducing PBTSs
Have the strategies achieved their goals of eliminating and reducing PBTSs in the environment? Unfortunately, the answer is not at all clear. There are several reasons. First, the monitoring information on levels in the environment of most of the listed PBTSs is insufficient to establish convincing temporal Having to do with time. Contrast with "spatial," which deals with space. trends for the geographic regions covered by the strategies. For example, only a few of the PBTSs listed in the strategies are subject to reporting under the Toxics Release Inventory and these data do not show any clear trends over time. In some years, reported releases of PBTSs have increased, and in others they have decreased. Data from 2000-2001 show a decrease of about 2 percent (U.S. EPA, 2003), while data from 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 show increases of 3 percent (U.S. EPA, 2004) and 11 percent (U.S. EPA, 2005b), respectively.
Moreover, it is virtually impossible to track the effectiveness of the individual strategies because only one (ARET) has a mechanism for reporting reductions in emissions. None of the other strategies contain a mechanism for monitoring environmental outcomes. The need to measure success in terms of environmental results is recognized in the draft national PBT strategy, which states: "EPA will measure progress on actions under this strategy through: (1) environmental or human health indicators, (2) chemical release, waste generation, or use indicators" (U.S. EPA, 1998, p. 11). This measurement does not appear to have occurred, however.
A second reason that it is difficult to make definitive statements about the success of the strategies is that many of the substances on the initial lists of PBTSs were already banned or controlled before the strategies were developed. For example, all 12 PBTSs identified by 1999 as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic under the Toxic Substances Management Policy were subject to bans or management controls before the introduction of the policy in 1995. Eight were pesticides that had been banned in Canada for many years, and another was PCBs, whose use has been restricted since 1980. The other three substances--dioxins, furans, and hexachlorobenzene--were subject to stringent control actions before the implementation of the policy in 1995 (Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, 1999). This circumstance Circumstance or circumstances can refer to:
Third, implementation of several strategies has been extremely slow, or has not taken place. For example, Ontario's Candidate Substances List did not lead directly to any bans or phaseouts. In its 10-year life, the Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative has developed North American regional action plans for six substances. In other cases, most notably the Stockholm Convention and Washington States PBT Rule, it is too early to evaluate their success.
Fourth, any reductions in environmental levels of PBTSs may be due to a variety of factors. As noted above, many of the PBTSs on the initial lists had already been banned or controlled, and these measures may have resulted in reduced levels. Other factors that are likely to be relevant include economic considerations. For example, a review of ARET found that reported emission reductions were largely a result of an economic downturn that led to decreased industrial activity, rather than to ARET itself (Environment Canada, 2000). This finding suggests that economic trends are likely to significantly influence emissions of PBTSs.
It is clear that there are many similarities among the PBTS strategies that have been developed over the past 14 years, and that there are also several emerging trends. It is unclear, however, whether collectively they have been successful in achieving their goals of elimination and reduction of PBTSs in the environment.
Despite this uncertainty, they have drawn attention to the issue of PBTSs in many different sectors of society. Policy makers are now much more aware of the need to manage these substances through government policies and programs, and one strategy has led to another. Similarly, the public is becoming more aware of the health hazards health hazard Occupational safety Any agent or activity posing a potential hazard to health. Cf Physical hazard. associated with PBTSs, and some people are now limiting their exposures through personal lifestyle choices. Industry is increasingly cognizant cog·ni·zant
Fully informed; conscious. See Synonyms at aware.
Adj. 1. of the need to eliminate and reduce PBTSs. For example, participation in Responsible Care[R], an international program whose purpose is to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes, is now mandatory for all members of the American Chemistry Council The American Chemistry Council (ACC), formerly known as the Chemical Manufacturers' Association, is an industry trade association for American chemical companies.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is in charge of improving the public image of the chemical industry. (American Chemistry Council, 2005). Also, researchers are now studying the health and environmental effects of PBTSs with a depth and breadth that were unimaginable 15 years ago. The increase in research has led to knowledge of the endocrine-disrupting potential of many PBTSs, among other information. Although it is unclear that the strategies have been successful at eliminating and reducing PBTSs, they have been very effective in raising awareness Raising awareness is a common phrase advocacy groups use to justify a particular event, brochure or even the entire organization. Raising awareness refers to alerting the general public that a certain issue exists and should be approached the way the group desires. .
Acknowledgement: The author would like to thank the Seattle Biotech bi·o·tech
short for biotechnology
Noun 1. Legacy Foundation for financially supporting this study.
Corresponding Author: Kate Davies, Core Faculty, Environment & Community, and Associate Director, Antioch University-Seattle, Center for Creative Change, 2326 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121-1814. E-mail: email@example.com.
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Kate Davies, M.A., D.Phil.
TABLE 1 Common Elements in Strategies for Eliminating and Reducing Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic Substances (PBTSs) Name of Strategy Common Elements Criteria for Persistence, Bioaccumulation, Initial List and Toxicity of PBTSs Ontario's Candidate Substances List for Yes Yes Bans and Phaseouts (1992) Canada's ARET Program (1994) Yes Yes Canada's Toxic Substances Management Yes No Policy (1995) Commission for Environmental Yes Yes Cooperation's Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative (1995) Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy No Yes (1997) U.S. EPA's draft National PBT Strategy No Yes (1998) U.S. EPA's Waste Minimization Program Yes Yes (1998) U.N. Stockholm Convention on Persistent No Yes Organic Pollutants (2001) Washington State PBT Rule (2006) Yes Yes Name of Strategy Common Elements Management Objectives for Individual A Process for Substances on Adding New Initial List Substances Ontario's Candidate Substances List for No No Bans and Phaseouts (1992) Canada's ARET Program (1994) No No Canada's Toxic Substances Management No Yes Policy (1995) Commission for Environmental No Yes Cooperation's Sound Management of Chemicals Initiative (1995) Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy Yes No (1997) U.S. EPA's draft National PBT Strategy Yes No (1998) U.S. EPA's Waste Minimization Program No Yes (1998) U.N. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Yes Yes Organic Pollutants (2001) Washington State PBT Rule (2006) No Yes