Anthraquinones Group - information sheet

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Overview

  • The Government of Canada conducted a science-based evaluation, called a screening assessment of the Anthraquinones 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 extent 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.
  • In this assessment, the ecological hazard and exposure potentials of these substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach.
  • As a result of this screening assessment, Solvent Violet 13 is proposed to be harmful to human health. At current levels of exposure, the remaining 6 substances included in this assessment are not considered harmful to human health. The substances in this group do not pose a risk to the environment at current levels of exposure.

About these substances

Exposure of Canadians and the environment

  • Canadians may be exposed to these substances from the use of products available to consumers, such as body creams, make-up, face paint, hair products, craft stampers and plastic toys.
  • Some of these substances may be used in certain food packaging materials in Canada; however, exposure from food is negligible.
  • All 7 the substances were identified as having low ecological exposure potential.

Key health and ecological effects (hazard)

  • There were some limitations to the health effects data available for some of these substances; therefore, a comparative approach using similar chemicals, called read-across, was used for assessing potential health effects.
  • The substances included in this assessment, except for Pigment Blue 60, are considered to be carcinogenic (able to cause cancer) to organs such as the kidneys. This was considered to be one of the important or "critical" effects used for characterizing the risk to human health for these substances.
  • Solvent Violet 13 and Solvent Blue 36 may also cause developmental effects.
  • Pigment Blue 60 was reviewed internationally through the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). It was determined that Pigment Blue 60 may cause reproductive effects.
  • The 7 substances were identified by the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances as having a high ecological hazard potential based on their moderate level of ecotoxicity.

Risk assessment outcomes

  • Exposure of the general population to Solvent Violet 59, Solvent Blue 36, Disperse Red 60, Acid Blue 239, and CAS RN 74499-36-8 at current levels are not of concern.
  • The risk to human health from Pigment Blue 60 is considered to be low given the information presented in this screening assessment.
  • Based upon a comparison of the levels to which Canadians may be exposed to Solvent Violet 13, and levels associated with health effects, it was determined that this substance may pose a risk to human health.
  • The ecological risk of the 7 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.
  • Solvent Violet 13 is proposed to meet the persistence but not the bioaccumulation criteria as set out in the Persistence and Bioaccumulation Regulations of CEPA 1999.
  • The Government of Canada published the Draft Screening Assessment for the Anthraquinones Group on November 3, 2018. This publication has a 60-day public comment period ending on January 2, 2019.

Proposed screening assessment conclusions

  • As a result of this assessment, the Government is proposing that Pigment Blue 60, Solvent Violet 59, Solvent Blue 36, Disperse Red 60, Acid Blue 239 and CAS RN 74499-36-8 are not harmful to human health at current levels of exposure.
  • However, the Government is proposing that Solvent Violet 13 is harmful to human health at current levels of exposure.
  • As a result of this assessment, the Government is also proposing that the 7 substances are not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.

Preventive actions and reducing risk

  • The Government of Canada published the Risk Management Scope for Solvent Violet 13 on November 3, 2018. This publication has a 60-day public comment period ending on January 2, 2019.
  • The Government intends to add Solvent Violet 13 to Schedule 1 of CEPA, 1999, also called the List of Toxic Substances.
  • If the proposed conclusion is confirmed in the final screening assessment, the Government will consider measures to reduce consumer exposure to Solvent Violet 13 from use of cosmetics.
  • The Government will propose adding Solvent Violet 13 to Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. The Hotlist is used to communicate that certain substances may not be compliant with requirements of the Food and Drugs Act or the Cosmetic Regulations. Under Canadian legislation, cosmetics that contain substances that are harmful to the user cannot be sold.
  • Although Solvent Violet 59, Solvent Blue 36, Disperse Red 60, Acid Blue 239, and CAS RN 74499-36-8 are not considered to be harmful to human health at current levels of exposure, these substances are associated with health effects of concern. There may be a potential risk to human health if use patterns were to change.
  • For this reason, follow-up activities to track changes in exposure and/or commercial use patterns for Solvent Violet 59, Solvent Blue 36, Disperse Red 60, Acid Blue 239, and CAS RN 74499-36-8 are being considered.
  • Stakeholders are encouraged to provide any information pertaining to these substances that may help inform the choice of follow-up activity, during the 60-day public comment period on the assessment. This could include information on new or planned import, manufacture or use of the substances.
  • Further information and updates on risk management actions for substances managed under the CMP can be found in the CMP risk management actions table and the two year rolling risk management activities and consultations schedule.

Important to know

  • These substances may be found in certain 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 should 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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