Acrylates and Methacrylates Group - information sheet
On this page
- About these substances
- Exposure of Canadians and the environment
- Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- Risk assessment outcomes
- Important to know
- The Government of Canada conducted a science-based evaluation, called a screening assessment, of the Acrylates and Methacrylates Group, to address the potential for harm to Canadians and to the environment.
- Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999), the risk posed by a substance is determined by considering both its hazardous properties (its potential to cause adverse human health or ecological effects) and the amount of exposure there is to people and the environment. A substance may have hazardous properties; however, the risk to human health or to the environment may be low depending upon the level of exposure.
- More information on assessing risk can be found in the Overview of Risk Assessment and related fact sheets, particularly on Types of Risk Assessment Documents and the Risk Assessment Toolbox.
- The substances in the Acrylates and Methacrylates Group may be associated with human health and/or ecological effects; however, the risk to Canadians is low at current levels of exposure. Therefore, it is proposed that these substances are not harmful to human health or to the environment at current levels of exposure.
About these substances
- This screening assessment focuses on 6 of 9 substances referred to collectively under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) as the Acrylates and Methacrylates Group. The substances addressed in this CMP screening assessment are acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, n-butyl methacrylate, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate, and isobornyl methacrylate.
- There were 3 other substances in the Acrylates and Methacrylates Group (CAS RNs 122-68-9, 24448-20-2, and 43048-08-4) that were determined to be of low concern to both human health and the environment, through other approaches.
- Conclusions for CAS RN 122-68-9 are provided in the Screening Assessment of Substances Identified as Being of Low Concern based on the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances and the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)-based Approach for Certain Substances.
- Conclusions for CAS RNs 24448-20-2 and 43048-08-4 are provided in the Screening Assessment for the Rapid Screening of Substances with Limited General Population Exposure.
- The Government gathers information on substances, including details on their commercial status in Canada, to support the risk assessment and management of substances under the CMP.
- Acrylic acid occurs naturally in marine algae and methacrylic acid occurs naturally in oil from Roman chamomile, whereas the other 4 substances do not occur naturally in the environment.
- In Canada, these substances are used in commercial products and products available to consumers, including adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, plastic and rubber materials, paper products, cosmetics, and building or construction materials.
Exposure of Canadians and the environment
- The main source of exposure to these substances is from the use of products available to consumers, such as cosmetics. Exposure from environmental sources (for example air, water, soil) and food are expected to be low.
- These substances were identified by the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach as having low ecological exposure potential.
Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- Acrylic acid, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate and methacrylic acid have been reviewed internationally by the European Commission, and acrylic acid, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate, methacrylic acid, n-butyl methacrylate, and isobornyl methacrylate were reviewed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These reviews were used to inform the human health effects characterization in this screening assessment.
- For these substances, the important or "critical" effects for the characterization of risk to human health are effects on body weights, and effects on organs, such as the liver and kidney.
- Acrylic acid, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, methacrylic acid, and n-butyl methacrylate were identified by the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach as having a low ecological hazard potential.
- Isobornyl methacrylate was identified as having a moderate ecological hazard potential, based on its moderate level of ecotoxicity and potential to cause adverse effects in aquatic foodwebs due to its bioaccumulation potential.
- Butyl acrylate was identified as having a high ecological hazard potential based on its increased level of ecotoxicity.
Risk assessment outcomes
- Based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians can be exposed and levels associated with health effects, the risk to human health from these substances is considered to be low.
- The ecological risk of the 6 substances was characterized using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach. Overall, there is low risk of harm to the environment from these substances.
- The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for the Acrylates and Methacrylates Group on September 29, 2018.
Screening assessment conclusions:
- As a result of this assessment, the Government concluded that these substances are not harmful to human health at current levels of exposure.
- The Government also concluded that these substances are not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.
Important to know
- These substances may be found in products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions on product labels and dispose of products responsibly.
- Canadians who may be exposed to these substances in the workplace can consult with their employer and an occupational health and safety (OHS) representative about safe handling practices, applicable laws and requirements under OHS legislation and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
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