1,3-Butadiene ongoing risk management activities


1,3-Butadiene (CAS RN 106-99-0) was placed on the second Priority Substances List (PSL2) in December 1995. This list identified substances that would be given priority for assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). The Priority Substances List Assessment Report for 1,3-butadiene concluded that the substance constitutes a danger to the environment on which life depends and a danger to human life or health.

In May 2000, a summary of the Assessment Report was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, including the conclusion that 1,3-butadiene meets the criteria under paragraphs 64(b) and 64(c) of CEPA 1999, along with a statement under subsection 77(6) indicating that the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health intended to recommend that 1,3-butadiene be added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Act.

In June 2000, the Minister of the Environment and Minister of Health published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, the proposed Order recommending the addition of 1,3-butadiene to the List of Toxic Substances (Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999). 1,3-Butadiene was added to the List of Toxic Substances on May 9, 2001.

Ongoing risk management activities

The government then initiated a number of actions to manage releases of 1,3-butadiene, as well as other volatile organic compounds, since 1,3-butadiene is typically released as a combustion by-product, along with these other compounds.

Actions taken to reduce the levels of 1,3-butadiene in outdoor air included a series of regulatory actions designed to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds from vehicles and engines, including 1,3-butadiene, as well as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein and benzene. The regulations will result in even greater reductions of 1,3-butadiene emissions as new cleaner vehicles and engines replace older higher-emitting products through normal attrition. The regulations include:

The On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations came into force on January 1, 2004. They are anticipated to reduce total on-road vehicle emissions of 1,3-butadiene by 17% by 2020.

The Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations came into force on January 1, 2005. They are anticipated to deliver a 46% reduction in off-road small spark-ignition engine emissions of 1,3-butadiene by 2025.

The Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations came into force on January 1, 2006. Reductions for 1,3-butadiene resulting from these regulations were not quantified.

The major source of 1,3-butadiene in indoor air was identified as smoking, however wood heating and infiltration of automobile exhaust in to the home are also potential sources.

Actions with regard to smoking and indoor air already exist under the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy. At the federal level, tobacco manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion are regulated under the Tobacco Act. Canada's comprehensive tobacco control strategy to reduce disease and death caused by tobacco use includes regulations, public education, policy development, international activities, research and monitoring, and taxation. Smoking attributable deaths have declined; cigarette sales have fallen by 30% from their highest levels; and for the first time in a decade, there has been a reduction in youth smoking rates. On April 1, 2007 a new goal for the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy was established, to reduce overall smoking prevalence from 19% (2006) to 12% (by 2011).

The Government, through its ecoEnergy Home Retrofit program, provided up to $300 of financial support to encourage Canadians to replace their older technology, conventional wood stoves with advanced technology appliances that are certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and/or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). This program ran from April 2007 to March 2012.

In 2003, the government launched an education program for Canadians who use wood burning stoves, called "Burn it Smart!" to addresses the health and environmental effects of inefficient burning by challenging Canadians to change their wood-burning habits in order to reduce pollution from wood heating. The government has also made additional information on reducing the indoor emissions from residential wood burning appliances available to the public through information on Residential Wood Heating.

While no specific actions were initiated to address the infiltration of exhaust gases from attached garages into homes, the actions taken with regard to the various engine and vehicle regulations would result in reduced exhaust gases in garages.

As a result of these, and other actions taken to reduce overall vehicle and industrial volatile organic compound emissions, the annual average concentration of 1,3-butadiene in Canadian urban centres has decreased by approximately 50% between 2003 and 2007. This reduction is largely due to reductions from on-road vehicles.

In March 2011, 1,3-butadiene was added to Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist which is an administrative list of substances that are restricted and prohibited in cosmetics. Two additional substances, isobutane and butane containing more than 0.1% of 1,3 butadiene, were also added to the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist on the same date.

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