Canada and the U.S. recently announced they’ll develop and coordinate strategies to reduce exposure to eight contaminants they’ve designated as Chemicals of Mutual Concern in the Great Lakes.
The designation made Tuesday, May 31, under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement also requires the countries to develop where needed the water quality standards for the pollutants.
They are hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (LC-PFCAs), mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs).
PCBs and mercury are long recognized Great Lakes pollutants. Most of the newly designated chemicals are in a range of consumer products and are now detected widely in the Great Lakes ecosystem, according to the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
That group lauded the designation and said urgent action is needed to prevent more of the contaminants from entering the Great Lakes.