CAS Registry Number 120-80-9

The Final Screening Assessment for 1,2-Benzenedol (Catechol) was published on July 5, 2008 as part of Batch 1 of the Challenge initiative of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The assessment is summarized on this page.

What is it

  • Catechol (also known as 1,2-benzenediol) is a chemical that is used by industry in the manufacture of certain products. It also occurs naturally in some food.
  • This substance is not the same as benzene which has already been declared "toxic" and is regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999).

How is it used

  • Catechol is formed during the production of pulp and is found in pulp mill effluent.
  • Catechol is used as a component in photographic developer and in specific applications such as a laboratory reagent and an antioxidant in electroplating baths.
  • Based on the most recent data, catechol is manufactured in Canada and is imported into Canada.
  • While catechol is found naturally in some foods, there is no evidence to show that the natural presence of catechol in food poses a health risk to Canadians or that Canadians should avoid foods containing catechol.

Why did the Government of Canada assess It

  • Catechol has been shown to cause cancer in some studies with laboratory animals. Although exposures to Canadians are low, the Government of Canada's objective is to minimize exposure to this substance from industrial sources.

What is the Government of Canada doing

What Canadians can do

  • Canadians who use photographic chemicals should read and carefully follow the safety instructions provided on the label before each use.

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