Alternative substances to Phosphorus compounds in household detergents and cleaners

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In June 2008, the Government of Canada published draft regulations to control the phosphorus concentration in household laundry detergents, household dish-washing compounds, and in any household cleaner other than a laundry detergent, dish-washing compound, metal cleaner or de-greasing compound, to a maximum of 0.5% by weight. The public was given an opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations. In June 2009, the Regulations Amending the Phosphorus Concentration Regulations (PDF Version - 2453 K) were published and these regulations will come into force on July 1, 2010.

Environment Canada is currently trying to identify alternative substances to phosphorus that could likely be used to meet the proposed concentration of phosphorus as outlined in the draft regulations. Once the alternative substances have been identified, it will then be possible to determine whether there is potential for adverse effects associated with their use.

Mandatory Section 71 Survey Notice

The following Notice, issued on April 25, 2009 under section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, (CEPA 1999) entitled: Notice with respect to alternative substances to phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents, household dish-washing compounds and household cleaners is targeted to manufacturers or importers of household detergents and cleaners that exceeded a phosphorus compound concentration of 0.5% by weight, since 2004.

This notice was issued to identify alternative substances to phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents, dish-washing compounds and cleaners. The information collected was used to determine hazards associated with the alternative substances based on likely levels of exposure to the environment.

Every person to whom the Notice applies was required to comply with the Notice by no later than August 25, 2009, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Please note that under subsection 71(4) of the Act, extensions may have been be granted in some cases upon written request. To apply for an extension, a written request and justification must have been received by the Minister of the Environment prior to the deadline.

Contact Information

Comments or questions should be sent to:

Substances Management Information Line
Chemicals Management Plan
Gatineau (QC) K1A 0H3

Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (in Canada) or 819-938-3232
Fax: 819-938-3231

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