Potassium bromate

CAS Registry Number 7758-01-2

What is it?

  • Potassium bromate is an industrial chemical.

How is it used?

  • In Canada, potassium bromate is used primarily in industrial and non- consumer applications.
  • Potassium bromate is not manufactured in Canada, but it is imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • Prior to the assessment, potassium bromate was identified as a potential concern for human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance that was found to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and based on a moderate potential for exposure (not including workplace exposures) to the general population of Canada.
  • Potassium bromate was also considered to be a priority for assessment of potential risks to the environment; therefore, potential environmental effects were also evaluated in this screening assessment.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • The general population is not likely to be exposed to potassium bromate since it is used primarily in industrial settings.

How is it released to the environment?

  • Potassium bromate may be released to the environment via landfills and wastewater systems as a result of industrial processes.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of potassium bromate, called a screening assessment.
  • Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population (not including workplace exposures) and the environment.
  • The Government of Canada has concluded that potassium bromate may be considered to be harmful to human health.
  • Additionally, although potassium bromate has the potential to remain in the environment for a long time, it is not expected to accumulate in organisms or cause harm to organisms; therefore, the Government of Canada has concluded that potassium bromate 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?

  • Exposure of the general population of Canada to potassium bromate is currently not expected and the Government of Canada is proposing action to limit the potential for future exposure.
  • The application of the Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions to this substance will be recommended. This would require that any proposed new manufacture, use or import be subject to further assessment, and would determine if the new activity requires further risk management consideration.
  • The Government of Canada will consider prohibiting potassium bromate in cosmetics by admending the Cosmetic Regulation and revising its entry on Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. Currently, potassium bromate is a restricted ingredient and its use triggers labelling requirements. The Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist is the list of ingredients that are intended to be prohibited or restricted for use in cosmetics, including many personal care products. Under Canadian legislation, cosmetics that contain substances that are harmful to the user cannot be sold.
  • The final screening assessment and the proposed risk management approach documents were published on September 18, 2010. The publication of the proposed risk management approach document will be followed by a 60-day comment period, ending November 17, 2010.

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). However, exposure of the general population to potassium bromate is not expected.
  • As a general precaution, Canadians are reminded when using any product to carefully follow any safety warnings and directions.
  • Canadians who handle potassium bromate in the workplace should consult with their occupational health and safety representative about safe handling practices, applicable laws and requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.

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