Organic Peroxides Group - information sheet

Hydroperoxide, 1-methyl-1-phenylethyl (Cumene hydroperoxide; CHP)
CAS Registry Number 80-15-9

Peroxide, bis(1-methyl-1-phenylethyl) (Dicumyl peroxide; DCUP)
CAS Registry Number 80-43-3

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Overview

  • 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 2 substances in the Organic Peroxides 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 or 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 2 substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach.
  • Although dicumyl peroxide (DCUP) may have potential effects of concern for human health, it was determined that the risk posed by this substance to Canadians and the environment is low at current levels of exposure. The risk to human health and the environment from cumene hydroperoxide (CHP) is also low. Therefore, it is concluded that these 2 substances are not harmful to human health or the environment at current levels of exposure.

About these substances

  • This screening assessment focuses on 2 of the 6 substances referred to collectively under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) as the Organic Peroxides Group. The substances addressed in this screening assessment are hydroperoxide, 1-methyl-1-phenylethyl (commonly referred to as cumene hydroperoxide or CHP) and peroxide, bis(1-methyl-1-phenylethyl) (commonly referred to as dicumyl peroxide or DCUP).
  • The other 4 substances in the Organic Peroxides Group were determined to be of low concern to both human health and the environment, through other approaches. Conclusions for CAS RNs 133-14-2, 614-45-9, 3006-86-8 and 3851-87-4 are provided in the Screening Assessment for Substances Identified as Being of Low Concern using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances and the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)-based Approach for Certain Substances.
  • According to information gathered by the Government, these 2 substances are man-made and they do not occur naturally in the environment.
  • In Canada, CHP and DCUP are used as industrial processing agents and they are present in negligible quantities in finished materials after processing.
  • CHP is used in commercial products and products available to consumers, including adhesives and sealants, building and construction materials, and paints and coatings.
  • DCUP is also used in commercial products, such as building and construction materials, plastic and rubber materials, as well as in the automotive, aircraft and transportation sector.

Human and ecological exposures

  • Exposure of Canadians to CHP and DCUP from the environment (for example, air, water or soil) and food is either negligible or not expected.
  • Canadians may be exposed to low quantities of CHP from the use of adhesive in products available to consumers.
  • Exposure of Canadians to DCUP from commercial products and products available to consumers is not expected.
  • According to information considered under the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach, CHP was identified as having a low ecological exposure potential. DCUP, however, was identified as having a moderate ecological exposure based on its persistence and reported use quantities.

Key health and ecological effects (hazard)

  • To identify effects of concern for human health, international reports of data on these substances were reviewed. These included reviews by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and by the Australian Government Department of Health (AGDH).
  • On the basis of these existing international assessments, general toxicity through oral, inhalation and dermal routes of exposure were identified for CHP.
  • A harmonized classification of reproductive toxicity for DCUP was proposed by the Norwegian Environment Agency (ECHA 2017) based on a recent developmental toxicity study. Therefore, reproductive effects were considered to be the important or "critical" effects for DCUP.
  • For the ecological assessment, CHP and DCUP were identified as having a low ecological hazard potential.

Risk assessment outcomes

  • Based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to CHP and levels associated with health effects, the risk to human health from this substance is considered to be low.
  • Exposure of Canadians to DCUP is not expected and therefore the risk to human health is also considered to be low.
  • Based upon the outcome of the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach, these 2 substances are considered unlikely to cause ecological harm.
  • The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for the Organic Peroxides Group on June 22, 2019.

Screening assessment conclusions

  • As a result of this assessment, the Government concluded that these 2 substances are not harmful to human health at current levels of exposure. 
  • The Government also concluded that these 2 substances are not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.

Preventive actions and reducing risks

  • Although DCUP is not considered to be harmful to human health or the environment at current levels of exposure, this substance is considered to have a health effect of concern based on its potential reproductive effects. Therefore, there may be a concern for human health if exposures were to increase. 
  • For this reason, the Government will carry-out follow-up activities to track changes in exposure, and review toxicity data and other relevant information pertaining to DCUP that may become available. The Government will use the data gathered through these follow-up activities to prioritize further information gathering or risk assessment work, as required.

Related information

  • CHP can be found in products available to consumers. Canadians should follow any safety warnings and directions on product labels and dispose of products responsibly.
  • Visit Healthy Home for more information on chemical safety in and around the home.
  • Canadians who may be exposed to these 2 substances 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 (WHMIS).
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