Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), commonly known as dioxins and furans, are toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative, and result predominantly from human activity. Due to their extraordinary environmental persistence and capacity to accumulate in biological tissues, dioxins and furans are slated for virtual elimination under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the federal Toxic Substances Management Policy and the CCME Policy for the Management of Toxic Substances.
Six priority sectors accounting for about 80% of Canadian emissions in a 1999 inventory were identified as priorities for early action. These are waste incineration (municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, sewage sludge and medical waste); burning salt laden wood in coastal pulp and paper boilers; residential wood combustion; iron sintering; electric arc furnace steel manufacturing; and conical municipal waste combustion. Canada-wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans were developed for all but residential wood combustion, which is being dealt with through the PM and Ozone process.
The 2009 Progress Report indicates that the Canada-wide Standards for dioxins and furans has been successfully implemented and achieved the desired outcome of reducing the release of dioxins and furans to the atmosphere. This is the last progress report required under the CWS although facility monitoring must continue and the reports of those tests be made available by each jurisdiction.
Meeting CWS reporting requirements, Jurisdictional Interim Progress In Achieving Dioxins and Furans Canada-wide Standards presents jurisdictions' interim progress in reducing dioxins and furans emissions from the first four of the five sectors for which dioxins and furans Canada-wide standards have been developed.
Status of Activities Related to Dioxins and Furans Canada-wide Standards (2004 & 2003) reports summarize CCME's Canada-wide standards (CWS) work on five sectoral sources of dioxins and furans atmospheric releases. They also describe the state of knowledge regarding other sectors that release dioxins and furans.