Lot 1: Priority C (lower hazard) micro-organism strains

Priority C (lower hazard) micro-organism strains on the Domestic Substances List (DSL).

What are they?

  • Lot 1 consists of eight industrial micro-organism strains:
    • Nitrobacter winogradskyi ATCC 25391
    • Nitrobacter species 18132-6
    • Nitrobacter species 16969-4
    • Nitrosomonas europaea ATCC 25973
    • Nitrosomonas species 16968-3
    • Nitrosomonas species 18133-7
    • Rhodopseudomonas palustris ATCC 17001
    • Rhodopseudomonas species 18136-1
  • These are naturally occurring strains of micro-organisms that can be found in a large number of different areas in nature, including soil, water, and as some of the many bacteria normally present on various plants and animals. 
  • The micro-organism strains in Lot 1 are not known to cause disease.

How are they used?

  • The micro-organism strains in Lot 1 have potential uses in nitrification, waste and wastewater treatment, degreasing, water conditioning and pond and aquarium treatment.

Why is the Government of Canada assessing them?

  • The micro-organism strains in Lot 1 belong to a total of 68 living organisms that were nominated and added to the DSL because they were manufactured in or imported into Canada between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1986 and they entered or were released into the environment without being subject to conditions under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) or any other federal or provincial legislation.
  • The Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health are to conduct screening assessments of living organisms on the DSL under Section 74 (b) of CEPA 1999 in order to determine whether they have the potential to cause harm to human health or the environment.
  • Twenty-seven microorganism strains were identified for expedited assessment because of their low potential for pathogenicity or toxicity to species including humans or of adverse ecological effects (Priority C).
  • Within the lower-hazard (Priority C) group, micro-organisms were further sub-divided into 'Lots' for assessment.

How are they released to the environment?

  • The Government of Canada has reviewed information that indicates micro-organism strains in Lot 1 are in commerce and may be released into the environment though industrial activities and through the use of commercial and household products containing these strains.

How are Canadians exposed to them?

  • The general population in Canada may be exposed to micro-organism strains in Lot 1 through environmental media and from the use of consumer products (for example, drain cleaners, water conditioners).

What are the results of the assessment?

  • Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population in Canada (not including workplace exposures) and the environment.
  • The Government of Canada is proposing that micro-organism strains in Lot 1 are not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment.
  • The Government of Canada is also proposing that micro-organism strains in Lot 1 are not considered to be harmful to the health of the general population at current levels of exposure.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • A draft screening assessment report for the micro-organism strains in Lot 1 was published on January 12, 2013 and is followed by a 60-day public comment period, ending March 13, 2013.

What can Canadians do?

  • Provide comments during the 60-day period mentioned above.
  • Individuals who handle micro-organism strains in Lot 1 in the workplace (for example, laboratory and research and development facilities) should consult with their occupational health and safety representative about safe handling practices, applicable laws and requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System and the Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines.
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