Benzene is a toxic substance for which there is considered to be some probability of harmful effects at any level of exposure. On the basis of available data, benzene is carcinogenic to humans. A phased approach to benzene reductions was endorsed by Canadian ministers of the environment (except Québec) in June 2000, when ministers ratified the Canada-wide Standard for Benzene Phase 1. Phase 2 of the Benzene CWS was endorsed by ministers (except Québec) in October 2001. Phase 2 considered information made available since the drafting of the Phase 1 CWS, as well as co-benefits from implementation of other Canada-wide standards.
Implementation plans which describe the actions taken to implement the Canada-wide Standards and achieve compliance by the target date can be found on the websites of individual jurisdictions. Because Québec is not a signatory to the Canada-wide Accord on Environmental Harmonization, nor the Canada-wide Standards, Québec is not required to develop an implementation plan.