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

CAS Registry Number 115-96-8

The Final Screening Assessment for TCEP was published on August 22, 2009 as part of Batch 5 of the Challenge initiative of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The assessment is summarized on this web page.

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 (for example, roofing insulation) and textile industries (for example, back-coatings for carpets and upholstery). It may also be used in electronic products and in the manufacture of cars.
  • TCEP is not manufactured, but is imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it

  • TCEP was identified as a potential concern to human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance found to cause cancer and reproductive effects, based on laboratory studies. There is a moderate potential for exposure to people in Canada.

How are people in Canada exposed to it

  • Exposure to TCEP occurs predominantly from indoor air and house dust.
  • People in Canada 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 conducted a science-based evaluation of TCEP, called a screening assessment.
  • The Government concluded that TCEP is harmful to human health.

What is the Government doing

  • The Government 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 people in Canada.
  • The risk management approach was published on August 22, 2009. It was followed by a 60-day comment period that ended October 21, 2009.
  • Information on the risk management actions for TCEP is available.

What should people in Canada do

  • As a general precaution, people in Canada 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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