This screening assessment was conducted pursuant to section 74 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). This section of the Act requires that the Ministers of the Environment and of Health conduct screening assessments of substances that satisfy the categorization criteria set out in section 73 of the Act in order to determine whether they meet or may meet the criteria set out in section 64 of the Act.

Screening assessments focus on information critical to determining whether a substance meets the criteria for defining a chemical as “toxic” as set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999. Screening assessments examine scientific information and develop conclusions by incorporating a weight of evidence approach and precaution[1].

A screening assessment was undertaken on quinoline (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number 91-22-5) on the basis that this compound was included in the Domestic Substances List (DSL) pilot project for screening assessments as a substance likely to be prioritized because it met the criteria for persistence and/or bioaccumulation and inherent toxicity to non-human organisms and as a substance likely to be prioritized on the basis of greatest potential for human exposure.

The 2005 version of the State of the Science Report for a screening health assessment of quinoline has been posted on the Health Canada website since January 30, 2006 (Health Canada 2005). The State of the Science Report for a screening health assessment was externally reviewed by staff of Toxicology Advice & Consulting Limited, the Lifeline Group and Toxicology Excellence in Risk Assessment and by Dr. Vic Armstrong, Consultant, for adequacy of data coverage and defensibility of the conclusions. The external comments were taken into consideration in finalizing the State of the Science Report. The health screening assessment included here is an update of the State of the Science Report; since limited new information was available, the update has not been peer reviewed.

This screening assessment includes consideration of information on chemical properties, hazards, uses and exposure. Data relevant to the screening assessment of this substance were identified in original literature, review and assessment documents and stakeholder research reports and from recent literature searches, up to August 2009 for ecological sections of the document and March 2009 for human health sections of the document. In addition, an industry survey was conducted in 2000 through a Canada Gazette Notice issued under the authority of section 71 of CEPA 1999 (Canada 2001). This survey collected data on the Canadian manufacture and import of the DSL pilot project substances (Environment Canada, 2001a). Key studies were critically evaluated; modelling results may have been used to reach conclusions.

The approach taken in the ecological screening assessment is to examine various supporting information and develop conclusions based on a weight of evidence approach as required under section 76.1 of CEPA 1999. The screening assessment does not present an exhaustive review of all available data. Instead, it presents the critical studies and lines of evidence supporting the conclusions.

Evaluation of risk to human health involves consideration of data relevant to estimation of exposure (non-occupational) of the general population, as well as information on health hazards. Decisions for human health are based on the nature of the critical effect and/or margins between conservative effect levels and estimates of exposure, taking into account confidence in the completeness of the identified databases on both exposure and effects, within a screening context. The screening assessment does not represent an exhaustive or critical review of all available data. Rather, it presents a summary of the critical information upon which the conclusion is based.

This draft screening assessment was prepared by staff in the Existing Substances programs at Health Canada and Environment Canada. The ecological assessment has undergone external written peer review/consultation. As mentioned above, the State of the Science Report for a screening health assessment was previously externally reviewed. Although external comments were taken into consideration, the final content and outcome of the draft screening risk assessment remain the responsibility of Health Canada and Environment Canada.

The critical information and considerations upon which the draft assessment is based are summarized below.

[1] A determination of whether one or more of the criteria of section 64 are met is based upon an assessment of potential risks to the environment and/or to human health associated with exposures in the general environment. For humans, this includes, but is not limited to, exposures from ambient and indoor air, drinking water, foodstuffs, and the use of consumer products. A conclusion under CEPA 1999 is not relevant to, nor does it preclude, an assessment against the hazard criteria specified in the Controlled Products Regulations, which is part of the regulatory framework for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System [WHMIS] for products intended for workplace use.

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