Calcium 2-ethylhexanoate and 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate - information sheet

hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, calcium salt
(calcium 2-ethylhexanoate)
CAS Registry Number 136-51-6

hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, 2-ethylhexyl ester
(2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate)
CAS Registry Number 7425-14-1

Update September 12, 2020

The Final Screening Assessment for Calcium 2-Ethylhexanoate and 2-Ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate was published on December 15, 2018 under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The assessment is summarized in this information sheet and has not changed. The section in this information sheet entitled "Preventive actions and reducing risk" communicates updates in risk management activities, namely:

On this page

Overview

  • 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 calcium 2-ethylhexanoate and 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate.
  • Under the 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 2 substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances (ERC) Approach.
  • As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that calcium 2-ethylhexanoate is not harmful to human health or to the environment at levels of exposure considered in the assessment. Although calcium 2-ethylhexanoate has effects of concern for human health, it was determined that the risk posed by this substance to Canadians is low at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
  • The Government also concluded that 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate is harmful to human health, but not to the environment, at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.

About these substances

  • The screening assessment focused on the substances hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, calcium salt and hexanoic acid, 2-ethyl-, 2-ethylhexyl ester, also referred to as calcium 2-ethylhexanoate and 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate, respectively. They were assessed under the CMP.
  • These substances break down to 2-ethylhexanoic acid (2-EHA), a substance that was previously assessed by the Government under the Challenge initiative and was concluded to be not harmful to human health or to the environment.
  • According to information gathered by the Government:
    • Calcium 2-ethylhexanoate is mainly used as an additive in interior and exterior paints and it may also be present in some food packaging materials.
    • 2-Ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate is used as an ingredient in cosmetics, and it may occur naturally in very low concentrations in a limited number of foods; however, the exposure from foods is expected to be negligible.

Human and ecological exposures

  • Canadians may be exposed to calcium 2-ethylhexanoate through the use of indoor and outdoor household paints, and to 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate through the use of certain cosmetics, including foot lotion and face make-up.
  • According to the information considered under the ERC Approach, these substances were identified as having a low ecological exposure potential.

Key health and ecological effects (hazard)

  • There were limited health effects (hazard) data for calcium 2-ethylhexanoate and 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate; therefore, a comparative approach using similar chemicals, called read-across, was used for assessing potential health effects.
  • Using data available for a similar substance (2-EHA; a breakdown product), the critical effects identified for characterizing the risk to human health for calcium 2-ethylhexanoate and 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate were liver and developmental effects.
  • According to information considered under the ERC Approach, these substances were identified as having a low ecological hazard potential.

Risk assessment outcomes

  • Risk assessment outcomes are based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to these substances and levels associated with critical health effects.
    • It was determined that the risk to human health from calcium 2-ethylhexanoate is considered to be low.
    • It was also determined that 2-ethylhexyl-2-ethylhexanoate may pose a risk to human health.
  • Based upon the outcome of the ERC Approach, calcium 2-ethylhexanoate and 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate are considered unlikely to be causing ecological harm.
  • The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for Calcium 2-Ethylhexanoate and 2-Ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate on December 15, 2018.

Screening assessment conclusions

Calcium 2-ethylhexanoate

  • As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that calcium 2-ethylhexanoate is not harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
  • The Government also concluded that calcium 2-ethylhexanoate is not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.

2-Ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate

  • As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate is harmful to human health.
  • The Government also concluded that 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate is not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.

It has been determined that 2-ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate meets the bioaccumulation criteria, but not the persistence criteria, as set out in the Persistence and Bioaccumulation Regulations of CEPA 1999.

Preventive actions and reducing risk

Calcium 2-ethylhexanoate

  • Although calcium 2-ethylhexanoate is not considered to be harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment, this substance is considered to have a health effect of concern based on its potential developmental effects. There may be a potential concern if exposure levels were to increase.
  • Therefore, the Government of Canada published a notice of intent to apply SNAc provisions of CEPA 1999 to calcium 2-ethylhexanoate for public comment on December 15, 2018.
  • The SNAc provisions would require that the Government be notified of certain proposed new activities related to calcium 2-ethylhexanoate, and that the new activity be assessed for potential risks to human health and the environment before being undertaken.
  • The notice outlines the proposed definition of a significant new activity in relation to the substance, as well as the information that would need to be provided to the Government for assessment before the new activity is undertaken.

2-Ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate

Related information

  • Calcium 2-ethylhexanoate and 2-ethylhexyl-2-ethylhexanoate may be found in certain products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions related to the product and dispose of products responsibly.
  • Cosmetic products must include a list of all ingredients on the product label using the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI). 2-Ethylhexyl 2-ethylhexanoate would be identified under the INCI name: Ethylhexyl Ethylhexanoate.
  • 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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