Results of the prioritization of the Revised In Commerce List

The Revised In Commerce List (R-ICL) is a list of substances, used in products regulated by the Food and Drugs Act, that were in Canadian commerce between January 1987 and September 2001. This was a transition period preceding the date on which new substances used in these products became subject to the New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999).  Substances on the R-ICL include substances in pharmaceuticals, veterinary drugs, cosmetics, biologics, food products, natural health products, and medical devices.  Under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), Health Canada prioritized substances on the R-ICL to identify those that require further evaluation to determine whether they pose a risk to human health or the environment.  

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Prioritization results

The prioritization process was applied to approximately 3,500 substances to separate those that are unlikely to require further work based on information available at the time from those that represent priorities for risk assessment, or which require further information.

Prioritization of substances on the R-ICL resulted in approximately 25% of substances being prioritized for further evaluation, while the remaining 75% were of reduced priority in the context of the R-ICL (reduced priority does not preclude actions being taken under other CEPA 1999 initiatives) including some which were on the Domestic Substances List (DSL). Those substances on the DSL have been deleted from the R-ICL to remove this redundancy.

View the Table of prioritization results of substances on the Revised In Commerce List

What the result columns mean

A decision of further consideration means that further work is required in order to determine whether the substance may pose a risk to human health or the environment as defined by the CEPA 1999. Further work may include: additional information gathering and evaluation to assess risk, targeted research or monitoring to address data gaps, leveraging of work with other CMP partners on similar substances or determining whether existing measures, evaluations, or instruments for management in place are sufficient to address concerns. Information gathering through, for example, inventory update will inform next steps for certain prioritized substances. 

A decision of no further consideration means that these substances are reduced priority in the context of the R-ICL. It should be noted that this does not preclude future action to manage these substances under CEPA 1999. Prioritization decisions were based on available information found for the substance, including criteria suggesting low risk or because there was no evidence raising concern.

Substances found on the DSL have been removed from the R-ICL to remove redundancy.


For substances identified as requiring further consideration, a rationale has been provided to indicate the reason for further consideration.  The rationales, whether they are for potential concerns to human health, the environment, or both, were based on preliminary information.  New information could shift the focus of further consideration or potentially eliminate any concerns.  

Removal of DSL substances will prevent duplication of work. This is because substances on the DSL have already been subject to categorization and may have undergone, or will undergo assessment and management under CEPA 1999 or were added to the DSL through notification under the NSNR.

How decisions for further, or no further consideration were made

Substances identified for further consideration will undergo further evaluation to determine whether they may pose a risk to human health or to the environment. Their identification for further consideration was based on information indicating potential health or environmental hazard, or because the quantities in use were potentially high with insufficient hazard information to mitigate concerns. Sources of information used to inform these decisions include persistence, bioaccumulation and ecotoxicity, structural alerts, data or modelling results for hazard and exposure. Additional sources include other programs or international jurisdictions that may have flagged the substance or grouping of substances as a potential concern.

The decision to identify substances for no further consideration, in the context of the R-ICL, was based on criteria including whether the substance was previously considered during DSL categorization, or whether the substance was low risk based on readily available information. For example, substances considered to be low risk could be:

  • readily biodegradable
  • a natural extract
  • used in small quantities
  • no longer in commerce
  • low hazard based on data from a closely related substance as reported in scientific literature or internal sources

Revised In Commerce List contact information

Enquiries related to the prioritization of the R-ICL, including requests for a searchable format of the Table of prioritization results of substances on the Revised In Commerce List, may be directed to the following address:

Environmental Assessment Unit 2
Health Canada
269 Laurier Avenue West, 5th floor, PL 4905B
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

Or by email to:

Please include your full contact information: name, address, phone number and email address.




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