Poly(amines) Group - information sheet

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  • 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 the Poly(amines) 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.
  • As a result of the screening assessment, these 9 substances are considered to have low potential for risk to human health and the environment.

About these substances

  • The screening assessment focused on 9 substances referred to collectively under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) as the Poly(amines) Group. The substances are further divided into 3 sub-groups:
    • Poly(DADMAC): CAS RNs 26062-79-3, 26590-05-6
    • Poly(EDMA): CAS RNs 25988-97-0, 42751-79-1, 52722-38-0
    • Poly(ASPCA): CAS RNs 69418-26-4, 68130-99-4, 27967-29-9, and 68134-56-5
  • These substances were previously evaluated under the second phase of polymer rapid screening, which identified low potential to cause harm to human health, but required further evaluation due to their potential to cause ecological harm.
  • The 9 poly(amines) do not occur naturally in the environment.
  • According to information gathered by the Government these poly(amines) substances have been reported to be used primarily in water and waste water treatment, pulp and paper production, and oil field applications.
  • Minor uses of both poly(DADMAC) substances include personal cleansing and grooming products, while minor uses of the poly(ASPCA) substances include liquid laundry and dishwashing detergent, automotive paints and coatings (CAS RN 68134-56-5) and adhesives and sealants (CAS RN 27967-29-9). Minor uses for poly(DADMAC), poly(EDMA) and poly(ASPCA) (CAS RN 69418-26-4) in food packaging materials have also been reported.

Human and ecological exposures

  • Exposure of Canadians to substances in the Poly(amines) Group may vary from low to high.
  • When used appropriately during waste water treatment, substances in the Poly(amines) Group are not expected to remain in water. It is common for these substances to be removed during waste water treatment, and residual amounts that reach the aquatic environment are expected to form solids and settle into sediments and therefore not be available.

Key health and ecological effects (hazard)

  • No effects on human health have been identified for the substances in the Poly(amines) Group.
  • The 9 poly(amines) contain functional groups that may be associated with adverse effects to fish, invertebrates, and algae. However, when present with organic matter in waste streams and the receiving environment, the polymers are expected to show moderate to low toxicity to aquatic organisms, and low toxicity to terrestrial organisms in the natural environment.

Risk assessment outcomes

  • Based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to substances in the Poly(amines) Group, and levels associated with health effects, it was determined that the risk to human health from these 9 substances is considered to be low.
  • Considering all information presented, it was determined that there is low risk of harm to the environment from these 9 substances.
  • The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for the Poly(amines) Group on August 15, 2020.

Screening assessment conclusions

  • As a result of the assessment, the Government is concluding that the 9 substances in the Poly(amines) Group are not harmful to human health at levels of exposure current at the time of the assessment.
  • The Government is also concluding that these substances are not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.

Related information

  • Poly(ADMAC) and poly(ASPCA) polymers 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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