n-Hexane (Hexane)

CAS Registry Number 110-54-3

What is it?

  • n-Hexane, also known as hexane, is an industrial chemical and occurs naturally in natural gas, crude oil and gasoline.

How is it used?

  • In Canada, hexane is widely use in a variety of products as a extraction solvent in food processing and as solvent-carrier in adhesives, sealants, binders, fillers, lubricants, various formulation components, fuel components, laboratory reagent and solvent.
  • Based on the most recent data available, hexane is manufactured and imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • Hexane was identified as a potential concern to human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance which was found to impair fertility and possibly cause harm to the fetus in some studies with laboratory animals, and based on what was believed to be a high potential for exposure to Canadians.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • Uses of hexane are widespread; however, the overall level of exposure to general population is expected to be low and occur via air.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of hexane, called a screening assessment.
  • The Government of Canada has concluded that consumer exposure to hexane is not harmful to human health at current levels of exposure.
  • The final screening assessment was published on August 1, 2009.

What should Canadians do?

  • Because Canadians' exposure to hexane is low, the Government of Canada is not currently recommending specific actions to reduce Canadians' exposure.
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