New substances: notification of assessment 16373

What is it?

  • Phlebiopsis gigantea is a naturally occurring fungus commonly found in the environment, especially in forests.
  • It thrives mainly on stumps, fallen trunks and other dead remains of coniferous (needle-leaved or scale-leaved, mainly evergreen) forest trees.
  • P. gigantea does not infect healthy, living trees.

How is it used?

  • The notified strain of P. gigantea will be tested as a biological method to reduce moisture content in lumber (referred to as wetwood) before kiln drying. This is done in an effort to reduce economic loss in the forestry industry that is associated with the high moisture content of wetwood lumber which can be devalued by the growth of wood-staining fungi under high moisture conditions.
  • It is not known to be manufactured in or imported into Canada for household or commercial uses.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • A micro-organism that is not on the Domestic Substances List (DSL) and is not subject to any other federal legislation, is considered “new” and before it is manufactured in or imported into Canada the Government must assess its potential to harm human health and the environment under the New Substances Notifications Regulations (Organisms), as required by Section 106 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). Phlebiopsis gigantea strain FTK 897A is not on the DSL.
  • The Government of Canada conducted an assessment of P. gigantea strain FTK 897A  because AEF Global Inc. submitted a notification of its intention to import a product containing this new micro-organism into Canada for use in a field trial to test its ability to reduce moisture content of freshly-sawn lumber.

How is it released to the environment?

  • P. gigantea already exists in the environment, especially in forests, in low concentrations.
  • Broad-scale environmental release of the notified strain of P. gigantea is not expected because it will be used only within the lumber treatment facility of a sawmill operation in Saint-Pamphile, Quebec. Measures are in place to confine the micro-organism to this site.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • Based on the intended use, the general population in Canada is not expected to be exposed to this strain of P. gigantea. Canadians working or living in forested areas will be exposed to background levels of spores of this fungus.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based risk assessment of this strain of P. gigantea.
  • Risk assessments address potential for harm to the general population in Canada (not including workplace exposures) and the environment.
  • Although P. gigantea does not cause disease in healthy plants, animals or humans, containment measures are in place to prevent the unintentional spread of P. gigantea beyond the field site.
  • P. gigantea is therefore not considered to be harmful to human health or the environment based on the intended use, and the Government of Canada has concluded that P. gigantea is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment or humans.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • Based on the conclusion of the risk assessment, the Government of Canada will take no further action on P. gigantea.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: