1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(2-methoxyethyl) ester (di(methoxyethyl)phthalate, DMEP)

CAS Registry Number 117-82-8

What is it?

  • 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(2-methoxyethyl) ester, also known as DMEP, is an industrial chemical and a member of a family of chemicals called phthalates.
  • DMEP is metabolized (changed within living organisms) to 2-methoxyethanol acetate, a substance that has previously been assessed by the Government of Canada and is considered to be harmful to human health.

How is it used?

  • DMEP is used globally as a plasticizer in a variety of consumer and non-consumer products.
  • DMEP was used in the past as a plasticizer and as a paint/coating additive in Canada.
  • DMEP has not been identified in current consumer products in the Canadian marketplace and is not currently in commerce.
  • DMEP is not currently manufactured nor imported into Canada.

Why is the Government of Canada assessing it?

  • Prior to the assessment, DMEP was identified as a potential concern to human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance that may cause harm to the developing fetus and impair fertility in laboratory animals, and based on a moderate potential for exposure to Canadians.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • Exposure of the general population in Canada to DMEP is expected to be very low and to occur predominantly from indoor dust from historical uses.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of DMEP, called a screening assessment.
  • The Government of Canada has concluded that DMEP is not harmful to human health at current levels of exposure.
  • The Government of Canada has also concluded that DMEP is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • Although exposure of the general population of Canada is very low, the Government of Canada proposes actions so that exposure remains low.
  • The Government of Canada is proposing to implement a Significant New Activity or SNAc provision for DMEP. This would require that any proposed new manufacture, import or use of DMEP would be subject to further assessment before this new activity would be allowed.
  • The final screening assessment report was published on November 28, 2009.

What can Canadians do?

  • The health risks associated with a chemical depend on the hazard (its potential to cause health effects) and the dose (the amount of chemical to which you are exposed).
  • Because exposure to DMEP among the general population is very low, the Government of Canada is not currently recommending specific actions by Canadians to reduce their exposure.
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