Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers Group - information sheet

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Overview

  • The Government of Canada conducted a science-based evaluation, called a screening assessment, of the Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers Group, to address the potential for harm to Canadians and the environment.
  • 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.
  • The ecological hazard and exposure potentials of these 5 substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach.
  • As a result of this screening assessment, none of these 5 substances are proposed to be harmful to human health or the environment at current levels of exposure. Although the substances AGE, o-CGE, and TGIC are associated with health effects of concern, the risk posed by these substances was determined to be low, given the levels to which Canadians would be exposed.

About these substances

  • This screening assessment focuses 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 this 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 Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers Group were determined to be of low concern to both human health and the environment through other approaches. Conclusions for 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 the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances and the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)-based Approach for Certain Substances.. Conclusions for 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.
  • The Government gathers information on substances, including details on their commercial status in Canada, to support risk assessment and risk management of substances under the CMP.
  • These 5 substances are not known to occur naturally with the exception of BCPO, which is naturally present in some plants and essential oils.
  • 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, including a flooring adhesive, a floor coating for garages, a two-component epoxy resin, and an 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, including a two-component epoxy adhesive, an epoxy filler, and a multi-purpose epoxy resin used to seal and coat surfaces.

Exposure of Canadians and the environment

  • Canadians are not expected to be exposed to AGE or to TGIC. Exposure to BCPO may result from the use of cosmetic products and from food containing this substance, however exposure from food is considered low.
  • Use of DIY products containing either o-CGE or C12-C13 AGE may result in exposure of Canadians to these 2 substances.
  • According to information considered under the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances 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 estimated long persistence (ability to remain in the environment) and large industrial use quantities.

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 (OECD) Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Programme.
  • AGE, o-CGC, and TGIC are entries in the harmonized classification and labelling of hazardous substances list approved by the European Union as either suspected of causing cancer, damaging fertility, and/or causing genetic defects.
  • The important or "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 related substances, carcinogenicity (ability to cause cancer) and effects in 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 Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach, AGE and BCPO were identified as having low and moderate ecological hazard potential, respectively. BCPO was profiled to have a moderate potential to cause adverse effects in aquatic foodwebs due to its moderate bioaccumulation potential.
  • High and moderate ecological hazard potentials were identified for o-CGE and TGIC, respectively, based on their increased levels of ecotoxicity.
  • Finally, C12-C13 AGE was identified as having a high ecological hazard potential based on a moderate level of ecotoxicity and because it has an increased potential to cause adverse effects in aquatic foodwebs, due to its bioaccumulation potential.

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.
  • Based upon 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, the risk to human health from each substance is considered to be low.
  • The Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach characterized these 5 substances as posing a low risk of harm to the environment.
  • The Government of Canada published the Draft Screening Assessment for the Epoxides and Glycidyl Ethers Group on November 24, 2018. This publication has a 60-day public comment period ending on January 23, 2019.

Proposed screening assessment conclusions

  • As a result of this screening assessment, the Government is proposing that AGE, BCPO, o-CGE, TGIC, and C12-C13 AGE are not harmful to human health at the current levels of exposure.
  • The Government is also proposing 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 risk to human health if use patterns of these substances were to change.
  • For these reasons, follow-up activities to track changes in exposure and/or commercial use patterns for these 3 substances are being considered.
  • Stakeholders are encouraged to provide any information pertaining to these substances that may help inform the choice of follow-up activity, during the 60-day public comment period on the assessment. This could include information on new or planned import, manufacture or use of the substances.

Important to know

  • Some of the substances in this group may be found in products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions on product labels and dispose of products responsibly.
  • Canadians who may be exposed to any of these substances in the workplace should consult with their employer and an occupational health and safety (OHS) representative on safe handling practices, applicable laws, and requirements under OHS legislation and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
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