Ethanol, 2-chloro-, phosphate (3:1) (Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate) (TCEP)

CAS Registry Number 115-96-8

What is it?

  • Ethanol, 2-chloro-, phosphate (3:1), also known as TCEP, is an industrial chemical.

How is it used?

  • TCEP is used as a plasticizer and viscosity regulator with flame retardant properties in polyurethanes, polyester resins, polyacrylates and other polymers.
  • These polymers may be used in furniture, building (e.g., roofing insulation) and textile industries (e.g., back-coatings for carpets and upholstery). It may also be used in electronic products and in the manufacture of cars.
  • TCEP is not manufactured in Canada, but is imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • Prior to the assessment, TCEP was identified as a potential concern to human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance which was found to cause cancer and impaired fertility in laboratory animals, and based on a moderate potential for exposure to Canadians.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • Canadians' exposure to TCEP occurs predominantly from indoor air and house dust.
  • Canadians may also be exposed to TCEP from water, food and ambient air, although exposures through food sources are considered a minor contribution overall.
  • It may also be detected in polyurethane foam that may be found in furniture or mattresses in Canadian homes.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of TCEP, called a screening assessment.
  • The Government of Canada has concluded that TCEP is considered to be harmful to human health.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • The Government of Canada is recommending a prohibition relating to the presence of TCEP in products and materials in Canada.Additional engagement with stakeholders will help determine the extent of the prohibition required to most effectively minimize exposure to Canadians.
  • The final screening assessment and the proposed risk management approach were published on August 22, 2009. The proposed risk management approach will be followed by a 60-day comment period, ending October 21, 2009.

What should Canadians do?

  • As a general precaution, Canadians are reminded to carefully follow safety warnings and directions when using products containing TCEP.
  • As old furniture or mattresses may contain TCEP, parents should not allow their children to suck or mouth furniture or mattresses.
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