Approach to nanoscale forms of substances on the domestic substances list: chapter 5

5. Prioritization

5.1 Purpose

Once a list of existing nanomaterials in Canada has been established, an evaluation exercise will be conducted to prioritize existing nanomaterials for possible further action. Analysis of the available information will take into account multiple factors and could be similar to categorization, which identified substances requiring further attention based on a prescribed set of factors. Environment Canada and Health Canada would like to work with stakeholders to develop criteria which would be considered for the prioritization of existing nanomaterials.

5.2 Factors to consider when prioritizing nanomaterials

In order to determine if action is required to address existing nanomaterials, several factors could be considered to establish a prioritization scheme.

Factors such as the following could be considered:

  • commercial status in Canada
  • potential for human or environmental exposure
  • potential for toxicity or harmful effects
  • presence in the environment
  • availability of information
  • alignment with other international activities

5.3 Using the results of prioritization

The prioritization exercise would review each existing nanomaterial to determine what, if any, action should be taken. The results of prioritization would provide some certainty for stakeholders on the potential activities going forward.

Possible outcomes for each existing nanomaterials could include:

  • no further action
  • scheduling for further examination (for example, research required, more information needed) or
  • scheduling for risk assessment and/or risk management as needed
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