Vanadium pentoxide

CAS Registry Number 1314-62-1

The Final Screening Assessment for Vanadium Pentoxide was published on September 18, 2010 as part of Batch 9 of the Challenge initiative of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The assessment is summarized on this web page.

What is it

  • Vanadium pentoxide is an industrial chemical and also occurs naturally in the environment. It is also produced as a by-product upon combustion of certain fossil fuels.

How is it used

  • In Canada, the main use of vanadium pentoxide is in the manufacturing of metal alloys and sulphuric acid.
  • Vanadium pentoxide is manufactured and imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it

  • Vanadium pentoxide 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 and genetic damage based on laboratory studies that indicate it may cause developmental effects (harm to the developing foetus). There is a high potential for exposure to the general population of Canada.
  • Vanadium pentoxide 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 people in Canada exposed to it

  • The general population of Canada is expected to be exposed to low levels of vanadium pentoxide from inhalation of air containing vanadium pentoxide formed from combustion of certain fossil fuels.
  • Exposure to vanadium pentoxide may also occur from its natural presence in food and soil.

How is it released to the environment

  • Vanadium pentoxide is released to the environment upon combustion of certain fossil fuels (for example, heavy oil, coal). This type of combustion mainly occurs at industrial facilities such as coal-fired and oil-fired power generation plants, pulp and paper mills, petroleum refineries, and cement plants.

What are the results of the assessment

  • The Government conducted a science-based evaluation of vanadium pentoxide, called a screening assessment.
  • Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population and the environment.
  • The Government concluded that vanadium pentoxide may be harmful to human health.
  • Additionally, although vanadium pentoxide 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 concluded that vanadium pentoxide 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

  • Based on the conclusion of the final screening assessment, the Government will use existing and proposed programs to reduce particulate emissions from combustion of certain fossil fuels, including vanadium pentoxide.
  • 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.
  • Furthermore, the Government assessed vanadium pentoxide in the event that it were to enter the environment as a result of an environmental emergency and intends to propose adding vanadium pentoxide to the Environmental Emergency Regulations of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, so that emergency prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery requirements are put in place.
  • The risk management approach was published on September 18, 2010. It was followed by a 60-day comment period that ended November 17, 2010.
  • The Government took risk management actions on vanadium pentoxide to address ecological concerns. Information on additional risk management actions for vanadium pentoxide is available.

What can people in Canada 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).
  • As a general precaution, people in Canada are reminded when using any product to carefully follow any safety warnings and directions.
  • People in Canada who handle vanadium pentoxide 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.

Page details

Date modified: