Chlorocresol - information sheet
CAS Registry Number 59-50-7
On this page
- About this substance
- Human and ecological exposures
- Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- Risk assessment outcomes
- Preventive actions and reducing risk
- 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 chlorocresol.
- 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.
- More information on assessing risk can be found in the Overview of Risk Assessment and related fact sheets, particularly on Types of Risk Assessment Documents and the Risk Assessment Toolbox.
- The ecological hazard and exposure potentials of these substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach.
- As a result of the draft screening assessment, chlorocresol is proposed to be harmful to human health, but not to the environment, at current levels of exposure.
About this substance
- The screening assessment focuses on the substance phenol, 4-chloro-3-methyl-, also referred to as chlorocresol, which was assessed under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).
- According to information gathered by the Government, chlorocresol may be used as a concrete additive, and in certain body moisturizer creams and lotions.
- It is also present as a non-medicinal ingredient in a limited number of drugs, as well as natural health product creams, to treat temporary skin conditions such as fungi or eczema.
- It is an active ingredient in one registered pest control product in Canada while the sodium salt form of chlorocresol is also in two registered pest control products.
Human and ecological exposures
- Canadians may be exposed to chlorocresol as a result of using certain body moisturizer creams and lotions, natural health products, and pharmaceuticals.
- There is a greater potential for exposure to chlorocresol from using body moisturizer creams and lotions, since they may be used daily and are typically applied in greater quantities than the natural health products or pharmaceuticals containing chlorocresol that have shorter recommended use durations.
- According to information considered under the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach chlorocresol was identified as having a low ecological exposure potential.
Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- Available information indicates that chlorocresol may have effects on adrenal organs, which may impact the endocrine (hormonal) system. This was considered to be the important or “critical” effect for the characterization of risk to human health in the assessment.
- According to information considered under the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach chlorocresol 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 chlorocresol from some products available to consumers, namely body moisturizer creams and lotions, and levels associated with critical health effects, it was determined that this substance may pose a risk to human health.
- Based upon the outcome of the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach, chlorocresol is considered unlikely to cause ecological harm.
- The Government of Canada published the Draft Screening Assessment for Chlorocresol on July 27, 2019. The public are invited to comment on the assessment during the 60-day public comment period ending on September 25, 2019.
Proposed screening assessment conclusions
- As a result of this assessment, the Government is proposing that chlorocresol is harmful to human health at current levels of exposure.
- The Government is also proposing that chlorocresol is 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 Chlorocresol on July 27, 2019. The public are invited to comment on the scope during the 60-day public comment period ending on September 25, 2019.
- If the proposed conclusion is confirmed in the final screening assessment, the Government will consider adding phenol, 4-chloro-3-methyl-to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999, also called the List of Toxic Substances and will consider the following actions to address human health concerns:
- Communicating measures to reduce exposures to chlorocresol from certain cosmetics by describing chlorocresol as prohibited or restricted ingredients on the Health Canada 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.
- Communicating measures to reduce exposures to chlorocresol from certain natural health products and non-prescription drug products by modifying the existing entry(ies) in the Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and impacted monographs.
- Applying the Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions under CEPA 1999 to chlorocresol. The SNAc provisions would require that the Government be notified of any proposed new manufacture, import or use of certain natural health products and pharmaceutical products containing this substance, and that the new activity be assessed for potential risks to human health and/or the environment before being undertaken.
- Further information and updates on risk management actions for substances managed under the CMP can be found in the risk management actions table and the two year rolling risk management activities and consultations schedule.
- Chlorocresol may be found in certain products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions related to this 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) system. Chlorocresol would be identified under the INCI name P-Chloro-M-Cresol.
- Canadians who may be exposed to this substance 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.
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