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CEC seeks public comment on draft action plan for lindane

Montreal, 5/10/2005 – The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) today released for public comment a draft action plan to reduce or eliminate the use of lindane in North America within 10 years.

Lindane is a toxic chemical used as an agricultural and veterinary insecticide and also used as a pharmaceutical for treatment of lice and scabies in humans. This wide-ranging, persistent, organic pollutant which accumulates in living organisms has been widely used for decades and is associated with skin irritation and nausea. It can even cause convulsions and death with high levels of acute exposure.

The draft North American Regional Action Plan (NARAP) on Lindane and other Hexachlorocyclohexane Isomers addresses exposure risks through a variety of national regulatory and management actions, outreach and education efforts, science and research, capacity building, and collaborative cross-border activities.

Specifically, Canada agrees to assess and manage the risks from its sole remaining use of lindane as a pharmaceutical drug. Mexico agrees to eliminate all agricultural, veterinary, and pharmaceutical uses of lindane through a prioritized, phase-out approach. The United States is reviewing the six remaining agricultural seed treatment uses to ensure they meet today's stringent safety standards. The United States will complete this re-evaluation by August 2006 and will also work with pharmaceutical companies to develop alternatives for lice and scabies use.

The three countries are also supporting a CEC-led, public workshop on alternatives to lindane began yesterday in Mexico City. Representatives from federal government departments, nongovernmental organizations and international experts will discuss the potential impacts and suitability of various alternatives to lindane.

The public comment period for the draft NARAP ends 4 November 2005. The full text of the document is available at:

Written comments should be sent to Luke Trip at the address below or by email at


Commission for Environmental Cooperation
393, rue Saint-Jacques Ouest, Bureau 200
Montréal (Québec) Canada H2Y 1N9


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