Thursday, November 11, 2010

Canada Lists 4 Chemicals to its Schedule 1 List of Toxic Substances

While the US struggles with what to do to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Europe has been busy with the first registration phase of it's Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program and Canada is well into its Chemical Management Plan evaluating their Inventory of existing chemicals.  As part of that process Canada recently proposed to add four additional chemicals its Schedule 1 "list of toxic substances" under CEPA (the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999).   

The four substances are:

Vanadium pentoxide: A naturally occurring substance in the environment, "used primarily in Canada in the manufacture of ferrovanadium and as a catalyst in the production of sulphuric acid." According to Environment Canada, "vanadium pentoxide is released to air, to water and to land, mainly through combustion of fossil fuels and wood fuels from industrial activities."  It "was identified as a high priority for assessment because of its classification as a carcinogen by national and international agencies."

Potassium bromate: A man-made substance "used primarily in Canada in industrial and commercial applications," including "as an oxidizing reagent in laboratories, in the dying of textiles, and in permanent wave neutralizing solutions in the cosmetics industry."  While it appears there is limited current reporting of use in Canada, and no reported consumer uses, the substance was listed "based principally on the weight-of-evidence assessment or classification from international or other national agencies..., the critical effect of carcinogenicity," as well as reports of genotoxicity and "a variety of non-cancer effects."

TGOPE: A thankfully brief acronym for a long chemical name, TGOPE "is a man-made component of epoxy resin used as an adhesive or binding agent" used primarily "in the manufacture of paints, coatings designed for industrial use and certain consumer epoxy-patch adhesives." Exposure is expected to be minimal because it is it seems to have limited current manufacture in Canada (but is imported) and has limited consumer uses (mostly epoxy adhesives).  Health effects assessments have not been identified, but "in vitro experiments and weight-of-evidence assessment or classification from several other that TGOPE may cause cancer."

Methyl eugenol: Mainly "a naturally occurring organic substance in the essential oils of several plant species," used primarily "as flavour ingredients in food and beverages and as fragrance ingredients and emollients in personal care, cosmetics and other household products." According to the Canadian assessment, "the substance may also be produced synthetically."  Exposure is "mainly from its naturally occurring presence in food and beverages with smaller contributions from the use of personal care products and citronella-based personal insect repellents."  Canada has determined "that methyl eugenol may cause cancer," and may also "be genotoxic in a range of experimental studies...Therefore, it cannot be precluded that the substance may have interacted with the genetic material."

More information on these four substances can be found here.  In addition to these four listed, there were 13 substances from "Batch 9" that were not found to meet the criteria for listing.  These can be seen here.

No comments: