Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers Group - information sheet
On this page
- About these substances
- Human and Ecological exposure
- 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 the environment from substances in the Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers 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.
- 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 5 substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances (ERC) Approach.
- As a result of the screening assessment, none of these 5 substances are concluded to be harmful to human health or the environment at levels of exposure considered in the assessment. Though the risk to human health is low at current levels of exposure, the substances AGE, o-CGE, and TGIC are associated with health effects of concern, and there may be a concern if exposure were to increase.
About these substances
- The screening assessment focused on 5 of 12 substances referred to collectively as the Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers Group, under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The substances addressed in the screening assessment are: allyl glycidyl ether (AGE), beta-caryophyllene oxide (BCPO), o-cresol glycidyl ether (o-CGE), triglycidyl isocyanurate (TGIC), and alkyl (C12-C13) glycidyl ether (C12-C13 AGE).
- The other 7 substances in the group were determined to be of low concern to both human health and the environment through other approaches. Conclusions for substances with CAS RNs 61788-72-5, 61789-01-3, 68082-35-9 are provided in the Screening Assessment for Substances Identified as Being of Low Concern based on the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances and the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)-based Approach for Certain Substances. Conclusions for substances with the CAS RNs 101-90-6, 556-52-5, 28768-32-3, 66072-38-6 are provided in the Screening Assessment for the Rapid Screening of Substances with Limited General Population Exposure.
- These 5 substances do not occur naturally, except for BCPO, which is naturally present in some plants and essential oils.
- According to information gathered by the Government, AGE is used in industrial applications while BCPO is used as a fragrance ingredient in cosmetics and may be present in foods as a flavouring agent.
- o-CGE is used mainly in the formulation of epoxy resins and was found in some do-it-yourself (DIY) products available to consumers (flooring adhesive, floor coating for garages, two-component epoxy resin, and arts and crafts/hobby resin).
- TGIC is mainly used in the formulation of polyester resins that are used to make polyester powder coatings.
- C12-C13 AGE was identified in some DIY products available to consumers (two-component epoxy adhesive, epoxy filler, and multi-purpose epoxy resin used to seal and coat surfaces).
Human and ecological exposures
- Exposure of Canadians to AGE and TGIC is expected to be minimal.
- Canadians may be exposed to:
- BCPO from the use of cosmetic products and from food containing this substance; however, exposure from food is considered to be low.
- o-CGE or C12-C13 AGE from the use of DIY products.
- According to information considered under the ERC Approach, these substances were identified as having low ecological exposure potential with the exception of TGIC, which was identified as having a high exposure potential due to its overall persistence and large use volumes.
Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- To identify health hazard information, international reports of data were reviewed and used to inform the health effects characterization in this assessment. AGE was assessed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
- In the European Union, the following harmonized classifications are listed:
- for AGE, as suspected of causing genetic defects, causing cancer, and damaging fertility;
- for o-CGE, as suspected of causing genetic defects; and
- for TGIC, as a substance that may cause genetic defects.
- The critical effects considered in the health assessment of BCPO were effects on the liver and lymph nodes.
- There were limited data for o-CGE, therefore, a comparative approach using similar chemicals, called read-across, was used for assessing potential health effects. On the basis of the available information on o-CGE and the similar substances, carcinogenicity (ability to cause cancer) and effects on the nasal cavity were considered to be the critical effects used in the assessment of o-CGE.
- For C12-C13 AGE, reversible effects at the site of contact were considered to be critical effects for the human health risk assessment.
- According to information considered under the ERC Approach, AGE was identified as having a low ecological hazard potential. BCPO and TGIC were identified as having moderate ecological hazard potentials based on a moderate bioaccumulation potential and a moderate level of ecotoxicity, respectively. o-CGE was identified as having a high ecological hazard potential based on a high level of ecotoxicity. Finally, C12-C13 AGE was identified as having a high ecological hazard potential based on its high bioaccumulation potential and a moderate level of ecotoxicity.
Risk assessment outcomes
- On the basis of the information presented in the screening assessment, the risk to human health is considered to be low for AGE and TGIC.
- A comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to BCPO, o-CGE, and C12-C13 AGE, and the levels associated with the critical health effects, determined that the risk to human health from each substance is considered to be low.
- Based upon the outcome of the ERC Approach, these 5 substances are considered unlikely to be causing ecological harm. The Government of Canada published the final Screening Assessment for the Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers Group on August 8, 2020.
Screening assessment conclusions
- As a result of the screening assessment, the Government concluded that AGE, BCPO, o-CGE, TGIC, and C12-C13 AGE are not harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
- The Government also concluded that AGE, BCPO, o-CGE, TGIC, and C12-C13 AGE are not entering the environment at concentrations that may be harmful to the environment.
Preventive actions and reducing risk
- Although AGE, o-CGE, and TGIC are not considered to be harmful to human health at current levels of exposure, these 3 substances are associated with health effects of concern. There may be a potential risk to human health if exposure to these substances were to increase.
- Therefore, the Government published a notice of intent (NOI) to apply Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions of CEPA 1999 to AGE, o-CGE, and TGIC. This publication has a 60-day public comment period ending on October 7, 2020.
- The SNAc provisions would require that the Government be notified of certain proposed new activities related to these substances, and that the new activity be assessed before being undertaken.
- The notice outlines the proposed definition of a significant new activity in relation to AGE, o-CGE, TGIC, as well as the information that would need to be provided to the Government for assessment before the new activity is undertaken.
- Some of these 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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