|CEC seeks public comment on draft action plan for
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.
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
Commission for Environmental Cooperation
393, rue Saint-Jacques Ouest, Bureau 200
Montréal (Québec) Canada H2Y 1N9