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Because of their potential toxicity, Canada has proposed designating four commercial chemicals for "virtual elimination," thereby restricting releases of these chemicals to the environment to the smallest levels possible. The substances selected by two national regulatory agencies, Environment Canada and Health Canada, are vinyl acetate and three siloxanes: decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane. Vinyl acetate is used to produce paints, coatings, adhesives, wires and cables, safety glass, and other products. The three siloxanes are ingredients in personal care products such as shampoos and cosmetics. Under the May 17 proposal, Canada would classify vinyl acetate as toxic to human health and the three siloxanes as toxic to the environment. The proposal is part of Canada's efforts to screen thousands of chemicals in commerce for health and environmental effects.
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