Pollutants

Pollutants are among the most visible effects of human occupation on Earth and, whether obvious or not, they are directly and indirectly harming human health and our environment.

Some, such as mercury, are naturally occurring, while many others are human-caused. The challenge for government is to minimize the risks posed by their use, storage and release, and, if human-caused, to accelerate their elimination.

Environment Canada is committed to reducing the impact of pollutants on our air, water and land. The department offers programs and practical guidance to ensure safe handling of pollutants and uses legislation and regulations to prevent their inappropriate use or release into our environment.

  • National Pollutant Release Inventory
    Canada's legislated, publicly accessible inventory of pollutant releases (to air, water and land), disposals and transfers for recycling. Updated annually.
  • Air Pollutant Emission Inventory
    Environment Canada's annual summary of seventeen common air pollutants emitted into the atmosphere.
  • Black Carbon Emission Inventory
    As a short-lived climate pollutant, black carbon contributes to global atmospheric warming. Learn about Canada's black carbon emissions; where they come from and how we calculate amounts.
  • Major Pollutants
    Learn more about Mercury and PCBs in our environment - where they come from, concerns they raise and how they are being managed.
  • Management of Toxic Substances
    Find out how Environment Canada prevents toxic substances from entering our environment and harming human health under The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
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