Antimony-containing Substances Group - information sheet
On this page
- About these substances
- Human and ecological exposures
- Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- Risk assessment outcomes
- Related information
- The Government of Canada conducted a science-based evaluation, called a screening assessment, to address the potential for harm to Canadians and to the environment from substances in the Antimony-containing Substances Group.
- 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.
- The ecological hazard and exposure potentials of these substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Inorganic Substances (ERC-I) Approach.
- As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that the 11 antimony-containing substances are not harmful to human health or the environment, at levels of exposure current at the time of the assessment.
About these substances
- The screening assessment focuses on 11 substances referred to collectively as the Antimony-containing Substances Group under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).
- Antimony (Sb) is a naturally occurring semi-metal that occurs in the environment in various oxidation states (degree of oxidation of a chemical compound). It is commonly found in the trivalent and pentavalent states. Some of the antimony-containing substances in this group are human-made.
- According to information gathered by the Government, these 11 substances have various uses and functions in Canada, such as in flame retardants, textiles, plastics, lubricants and greases, and metal refining, as examples.
- Antimony trioxide (CAS RN 1309-64-4) is not included in this Group assessment, as it was assessed in Batch 9 of the Challenge initiative.
Human and ecological exposures
- Canadians may be exposed to these antimony-containing substances through the environment (for example, air and drinking water). Data on total antimony (all forms of antimony added together) in the environment were used to estimate these exposures.
- The primary sources of human exposures are estimated to be from food (including breast milk and beverages) and to a lesser extent, drinking water.
- Canadians may also be exposed to these substances from the use of products available to consumers, such as textiles, toys, lubricants, and greases.
- Antimony-containing substances may be released to the environment as a result of activities such as fossil-fuel combustion, metal refining, or when used in the manufacturing process.
- For these 11 substances, ecological exposure was characterized in the ERC-I Approach, using information from the Domestic Substances List inventory updates, the National Pollutant Release Inventory, the Canada Border Services Agency, and a number of federal and provincial water quality monitoring datasets.
Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- The human health screening assessment focused on the effects of exposure to both trivalent and pentavalent antimony-containing substances.
- The important or critical effects identified for characterizing the risk to human health for these antimony-containing substances were developmental effects (associated with a form of pentavalent antimony), and lung inflammation.
- For these 11 substances, ecological hazard was characterized in the ERC-I Approach. A comparative approach using similar chemicals, called read-across, was used for assessing their potential ecological effects.
Risk assessment outcomes
- Based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to antimony-containing substances and levels associated with health effects, it was determined that the risk to human health from these 11 substances is considered to be low.
- Using the ERC-I Approach, these 11 substances were characterized as having low ecological concern.
- The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for the Antimony-containing Substances Group on July 11, 2020.
Screening assessment conclusions
- As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that these 11 antimony-containing substances are not harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
- The Government also concluded that these substances are not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.
- Antimony-containing substances may be found in products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions related to the product and dispose of products responsibly.
- The screening assessment focused on potential risks from exposure of the general population of Canada, rather than occupational exposure. Hazards related to chemicals used in the workplace are defined within the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. For information concerning workplace health and safety and what steps to take in the workplace, Canadians should consult their employer and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Regulator in their jurisdiction.
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