Nitrilotriacetic acid trisodium salt - information sheet
Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, trisodium salt
CAS Registry Number 5064-31-3
- Final Screening Assessment for Nitrilotriacetic acid trisodium salt (published on November 26, 2022). Public comments received on the draft screening assessment were considered and a summary of the comments with Government responses was published.
- Associated notice: Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 156, No. 48 - November 26, 2022
On this page
- About this substance
- Human and ecological exposures
- Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- Consideration of subpopulations who may be more susceptible or highly exposed
- Risk assessment outcomes
- Preventive actions and risk reduction
- Related resources
- The Government of Canada conducts risk assessments of substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) to determine whether they present or may present a risk to human health or to the environment.
- The risks posed by a substance are determined by both 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 and other federal acts to help prevent or reduce potential harm.
- The ecological hazard and exposure potentials of this substance were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances (ERC) Approach.
- Na3NTA is associated with health effects, including potential for tumour development in the urinary system based on laboratory studies; however, at levels of exposure considered in the assessment, the Government concluded that this substance is not harmful to human health or the environment.
About this substance
- The screening assessment focused on glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)-, trisodium salt. This substance may also be referred to as nitrilotriacetic acid or Na3NTA. It was assessed as part of the third phase of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).
- The health effects data on Na3NTA were previously included as supporting information in the Final Screening Assessment for Glycine, N,N-bis(carboxymethyl)- (nitrilotriacetic acid, or NTA), but that assessment did not have a conclusion for Na3NTA.
- According to information gathered by the Government, Na3NTA is used in Canada in water treatment, cleaning products, paper products, fabric, textile and leather articles, personal care, photographic supplies, and agricultural products.
- Na3NTA may be used as a component in the manufacture of food packaging materials, in cleaners, sanitizers, and hand treatments used in food processing establishments, and in pest control products registered in Canada.
Human and ecological exposures
- The main source of human exposure to Na3NTA is from products available to consumers, such as cleaning products (wood floor cleaning liquid, wood floor polishing spray, boat cleaner) and cosmetics (hair dye, face moisturizer). There is also potential for exposure from environmental sources, such as drinking water.
- According to the information considered under the ERC Approach, Na3NTA was identified as having low ecological exposure potential.
Key health and ecological effects (hazard)
- To identify health effects information, international and national reports were reviewed. This included a risk assessment for Na3NTA through the European Union, as well as the Screening Assessment for the Challenge - Nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) and the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guideline for NTA by the Government of Canada.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified Na3NTA as "possibly carcinogenic to humans". Based on laboratory studies, development of pre-cancerous lesions progressing to tumor formation in the urinary system were considered to be critical effects in the screening assessment.
- According to information considered under the ERC Approach, this substance was identified as having a low ecological hazard potential.
Consideration of subpopulations who may be more susceptible or highly exposed
- There are groups of individuals within the Canadian population who, due to greater susceptibility or greater exposure, may be more vulnerable to experiencing adverse health effects from exposure to substances.
- Certain subpopulations are routinely considered throughout the screening assessment process, such as infants, children, and people of reproductive age. For Na3NTA, these subpopulations with potential for higher exposure and those who may be more susceptible were taken into account in the risk assessment outcomes.
Risk assessment outcomes
- Based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to Na3NTA and levels associated with health effects, it was determined that the risk to human health from this substance is low.
- Based upon the outcome of the ERC Approach, this substance is considered unlikely to be causing ecological harm.
Screening assessment conclusions
- The Government concluded that Na3NTA is not harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment, and that it is not entering the environment at levels that are harmful.
Preventive actions and risk reduction
- Although Na3NTA is not considered to be harmful to human health at current levels of exposure, this substance is considered to have a health effect of concern based on its potential ability to cause cancer of the urinary tract. There may be a potential risk if exposure to this substance were to increase.
- Therefore, the Government intends to apply the Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions of CEPA 1999 to Na3NTA. The SNAc provisions would require that the Government be notified of certain proposed new activities related to Na3NTA 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 Na3NTA, as well as the information that would need to be provided to the Government for assessment before the new activity is undertaken.
Where to find updates
- The timeline for Na3NTA is updated to reflect new or changed activities. Also, information on SNAc provisions applied to substances, where applicable, is found in the SNAc publications dataset.
- Details on information gathering initiatives and information on the risk management of substances addressed under the CMP are also available.
- Use the Substances Search tool to find substances that are referenced in certain legislative or regulatory instruments or on Government of Canada websites.
- Na3NTA 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 according to municipal or local guidelines.
- The screening assessment focused on potential risks from exposure to the general population of Canada. Hazards related to chemicals used in the workplace are defined within the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). For information concerning workplace health and safety and what steps to take in the workplace, Canadians should consult their employer or the Occupational Health and Safety Regulator in their jurisdiction.
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