Hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl- (2-Ethylhexanoic acid) (2-EHA)
CAS Registry Number 149-57-5
What is it?
- Hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, also known as 2-ethylhexanoic acid or 2-EHA, is an industrial chemical.
How is it used?
- A major use of 2-EHA is in the preparation of metal salts and soaps used as drying agents in paint and inks, and as thermal stabilizers in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
- 2-EHA is also used in the manufacture of resins used in automobile windshields and vinyl flooring.
- 2-EHA is not manufactured in Canada, but it is imported into Canada.
Why did the Government of Canada assess it?
- Prior to the assessment, 2-EHA was identified as a potential concern to human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance that was found to cause harm to the developing foetus in laboratory animals, and based on a high potential for exposure (not including workplace exposures) to the general population of Canada.
- 2-EHA was not considered to be a high priority for assessment of potential risks to the environment; however, potential environmental effects were also evaluated in this screening assessment.
How are Canadians exposed to it?
- The general population in Canada may be exposed to 2-EHA through the use of paint products, antifreeze, PVC-containing products and other products containing metal salts of 2-EHA; however, this exposure is expected to be low.
How is it released to the environment?
- 2-EHA may be released to the environment through various waste streams, as a result of its production, use and the environmental degradation of some plasticizers.
What are the results of the assessment?
- The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of 2-EHA, called a screening assessment.
- Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population (not including workplace exposures) and the environment.
- Results of the final screening assessment indicate that 2-EHA is not expected to remain in the environment for a long time, or to accumulate in organisms.
- Furthermore, the quantity of 2-EHA that may be released to the environment is below the level expected to cause harm to organisms.
- The Government of Canada has therefore concluded that 2-EHA is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment.
- The Government of Canada has also concluded that 2-EHA is not harmful to the health of the general population at current levels of exposure.
What is the Government of Canada doing?
- Due to the high volume use, the Government of Canada proposes to investigate the utility of adding 2-EHA to the Environmental Emergency Regulations, so that emergency prevention, preparedness, response and recovery requirements are put in place.
- Based on the conclusion of the final screening assessment, the Government of Canada proposes that no further action be taken on 2-EHA.
- The final screening assessment report was published on September 10, 2011.
What can Canadians do?
- The health risks associated with a chemical depend on the hazard (its potential to cause health effects) and the dose (the amount of chemical to which you are exposed). 2-EHA is not a concern for the environment or human health at current levels of exposure.
- As a general precaution, Canadians are reminded when using any product, to carefully follow any safety warnings and directions.
- Canadians who handle 2-EHA in the workplace should consult with their occupational health and safety representative about safe handling practices, applicable laws and requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
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