Aspergillus awamori and Aspergillus brasiliensis (Strain Numbers ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and ATCC 9642)

Strain Numbers ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and ATCC 9642

What are they?

  • Aspergillus awamori strain ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis strain ATCC 9642 are fungi that could have a number of industrial uses.
  • ATCC 22342 has characteristics in common with other strains of the species Aspergillus niger and ATCC 9642 with other strains of the species Aspergillus brasiliensis, which are found in nature.

How are they used?

  • Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642 were not reported to be manufactured in or imported into Canada, except for controlled uses in teaching activities and research and development.
  • The characteristics of Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642 make them suitable for use in various applications including bioremediation, biodegradation, bioleaching, textile processing, waste treatment, and enzyme and fermentation extract production.

Why is the Government of Canada assessing them?

How are they released to the environment?

  • According to information available to the Government of Canada, Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis strain ATCC 9642 are not expected to be released into the Canadian environment.

How are Canadians exposed to them?

  • According to information available to the Government of Canada, the general population of Canada is not exposed to Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642, called a screening assessment (micro-organisms).
  • Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population in Canada and to the Canadian environment.
  • Hazards related to micro-organisms used in the workplace should be classified accordingly under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
  • Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642 are not considered to be harmful to the environment or to the health of the general population at current levels of exposure in Canada.
  • The Government of Canada is therefore proposing that Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642 are not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment or human health in Canada.
  • Nevertheless, susceptible sub-populations (for example, individuals with compromised immunity or debilitating disease, neonates and the elderly) and in rare cases healthy individuals could be at risk of infection if exposed to Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) or Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642 through the use of consumer products in their residences, or through the use of commercial products in institutional settings (for example, hospitals, long term care facilities, nursing homes, daycares, school or clinics).

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • Although exposure of the general population of Canada to strains Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642 is not currently expected, the Government of Canada is proposing action to limit the potential for future exposure.
  • The Government of Canada will consult with industry and other stakeholders to more precisely define current and possible futures uses of Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642, particularly in consumer and commercial products that could be applied in residences or institutional settings such as hospitals, long term care facilities, daycares or clinics.
  • Depending on the outcome of consultations, the Government of Canada may propose to implement a Significant New Activity (SNAc) provision for Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342)and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642. This would require that any new manufacture, import or use of these living organisms will undergo environmental and human health assessments as specified in section 108 of the Act, prior to the commencement of the new activity.
  • The Draft Screening Assessment for strains Aspergillus awamori ATCC 22342 (=A. niger ATCC 22342) and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 9642 was published on June 14, 2014 and will be followed by a 60-day public comment period (from June 14, 2014 to August 13, 2014).

What can Canadians do?

  • Canadians are invited to comment on the published document and/or on the conclusions reached by August 13, 2014.
  • As a general precaution, Canadians are reminded when using any product to carefully follow any safety warnings and directions, and to dispose of the products appropriately.
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