Oxirane, (chloromethyl)- (Epichlorohydrin)

CAS Registry Number 106-89-8

The Final Screening Assessment for Oxirane, (chloromethyl)- (Epichlorohydrin) was published on January 31, 2009 as part of Batch 2 of the Challenge initiative of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The assessment is summarized on this page.

What is it

  • Epichlorohydrin is an industrial chemical.

How is it used

  • Epichlorohydrin is used to make other chemical products, such as epoxy resins which are used in protective coatings, including those used for lining food and beverage cans.
  • Chemicals made from epichlorohydrin are used in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater and in the production of paper products (tissues, toweling, beverage filters, etc.)
  • Epichlorohydrin may also be found in very low amounts in epoxy adhesives, coatings and putties.
  • Epichlorohydrin is listed as a food additive in Canada's Food and Drug Regulations; however, it is unlikely that it is used today and, if so, levels of epichlorohydrin would be very low.
  • Based on the most recent data (2006), epichlorohydrin is not manufactured in Canada nor imported into Canada in quantities exceeding 100 kg per year.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it

  • Epichlorohydrin was identified as a potential concern to human health based on its classification by an international organization as a substance which was found to cause cancer in some studies with laboratory animals.
  • Epichlorohydrin was also believed to have a high potential for exposure to Canadians.
  • Epicholohydrin was assessed by Government of Canada scientists to help decide if further actions might be necessary so that the health of Canadians and the environment are protected.

How are Canadians exposed to it

  • Exposure of the general population in Canada to epichlorohydrin, including from cans and drinking water, is expected to be very low.

What is the Government of Canada doing

  • The Government of Canada has conducted an evaluation of epichlorohydrin based on science, called a screening assessment.
  • The Government of Canada has determined that epichlorohydrin is considered to be harmful to human health.
  • Although Canadians' exposure is very low, the Government of Canada is taking action so that exposure remains very low.
  • Risk management options include the development of a future notification tool so that new uses in Canada do not increase exposure for Canadians.
  • The Government is also proposing to include epichlorohydrin as a prohibited or restricted ingredient on Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. The Hotlist is used to communicate that certain substances may not be compliant with requirements of the Food and Drug Act or the Cosmetic Regulations. Under Canadian legislation, cosmetics that contain substances that are harmful to the user cannot be sold.
  • The proposed risk management approach document was published on January 31, 2009. It was subject to a 60-day public comment period ending April 1, 2009.
  • Information on the risk management actions for epichlorohydrin is available.

What should Canadians do

  • Because exposure to epichlorohydrin is very low, Canadians do not need to take any specific actions to reduce their exposure.

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