Technical approach for rapid screening of substances of lower ecological concern: background


During the categorization of substances on the Domestic Substances List (DSL), Environment Canada has identified a subset of the PiT (persistent and inherently toxic to non-human organisms) or BiT (bioaccumulative and inherently toxic to non-human organisms) substances that are expected to have a low likelihood of causing harmful effects (based on toxicity to aquatic organisms), as it is believed that low volumes are in commerce.

Environment Canada has developed a pragmatic approach to rapidly identify substances that have a low likelihood of meeting the criterion set out in paragraph 64(a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). This allows the Government of Canada and stakeholders to focus resources on those substances that have a higher probability of causing harm.

Environment Canada is addressing these substances now, as it will facilitate the further prioritization of substances for assessment, by:

  • rapidly identifying those substances that may have a higher potential for concern than was anticipated;
  • focusing data gap filling on higher priority substances by rapidly identifying those that are not of concern;
  • facilitating planning for efficient industry stewardship practices for substances of higher concern;
  • improving the ability of government program managers to do long-term strategic planning - including identification of resource needs for risk assessment and risk management; and
  • rapidly providing information concerning a large fraction of substances meeting the categorization criteria, and thereby generally focusing the attention and actions of parties involved on substances likely of higher concern.

All substances that were identified by the categorization process as being PBiT (substances that are persistent and bioaccumulative and inherently toxic) are excluded from consideration under this approach, due to particular concerns identified for substances having this combination of properties.

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