The risks posed by a substance are determined both by its hazardous properties (potential to cause adverse human health or ecological effects) and the amount or extent of exposure to people and the environment.
When needed, the Government implements risk management measures under CEPA 1999 or other federal acts to help prevent or reduce potential harm.
As a result of the draft screening assessment, the Government is proposing that caprolactam is not harmful to human health or to the environment at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
According to information gathered by the Government, this substance is used in Canada in the production of Nylon 6 polymers (used in the manufacture of textiles, carpets, industrial yarns and engineering plastics), as well as in some products available to consumers such as cosmetics, diapers, and 3D printing filaments. Caprolactam is also used as a plasticizer, and in paints and coatings, glue sticks and other adhesives. It may also be used as a component in the manufacture of certain food packaging materials and as a food flavouring agent.
Human and ecological exposures
The screening assessment indicates that the predominant sources of exposure from the use of products available to consumers are glue sticks and from Nylon 6 in carpets, lipsticks, diapers, and 3D printing filaments. Canadians may be exposed to caprolactam from the environment (for example, indoor air) and food packaging materials.
According to the information considered under the ERC Approach, caprolactam was identified as having low ecological exposure potential.
The critical effects identified for characterizing the risk to human health forcaprolactam were effects on bodyweight, clinical effects, as well as effects on the larynx (throat).
According to information considered under the ERC Approach, caprolactam was identified as having a low ecological hazard potential.
Risk assessment outcomes
Based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to caprolactam and the levels associated with health effects, the risk to human health for this substance is considered to be low. Based upon the outcome of the ERC Approach, caprolactam is considered unlikely to be causing ecological harm.
Proposed screening assessment conclusions
The Government is proposing that caprolactam is not harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
The Government is also proposing that caprolactam is not entering the environment at levels that are harmful.
Caprolactam is found in products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions related to the product and dispose of products responsibly.