Under 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.
As a result of the draft screening assessment, the Government is proposing that these 8 substances are not harmful to human health or the environment at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
About these substances
The screening assessment summarized here focuses on 8 hydrocarbon-based substances, assessed under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The substances addressed are petroleum resins, hydrocarbon resin, polymerized C5-12 distillates, oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with ethanolamine, oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with 2-(methylamino)ethanol, alkylated naphthalene sulfonate sodium salt polymers with formaldehyde, heavy oxo ends, and sulfurized petroleum.
These 8 substances are considered to be of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products, or Biological materials (UVCBs).
According to information gathered by the Government of Canada, petroleum resins is used in asphalt, adhesives and sealants, lubricants and greases, and polishes and waxes. Petroleum resins also appears in some cosmetics and natural health products as an adhesive. Hydrocarbon resin is used mostly in household and construction adhesive products. Polymerized C5-12 distillates is an intermediate in petrochemical processes. These 3 substances are polymeric and are expected to have similar properties; therefore, they are grouped together in this screening assessment.
Oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with EA and oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with 2-MAE are not manufactured, imported or used in Canada, based on available information. Additionally, these 2 substances contain oxidized petrolatum and alkanolamine moieties, which have been previously assessed by the Government and were not found to be harmful to human health or the environment at levels of exposure considered in those assessments.
Alkylated naphthalene sulfonate sodium salt polymers with formaldehyde is used as a formulant in pest control products, and industrially as a wetting and penetrating agent.
Heavy oxo ends is used as an industrial de-foamer.
Sulfurized petroleum has industrial uses as a metal-working agent in industrial cutting oils.
An additional 35 hydrocarbon-based substances were considered to fall within the scope of assessments of hydrocarbon substance and are therefore considered to have previously been addressed under CEPA, and will thus not undergo further assessment at this time. Further details can be found in the screening assessment.
Human and ecological exposures
There is potential for exposure of Canadians to petroleum resins and hydrocarbon resin through use of products available to consumers.
Exposure of Canadians to polymerized C5-12 distillates, oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with EA, and oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with 2-MAE is expected to be low, based on their limited use in Canada.
Exposure to alkylated naphthalene sulfonate sodium salt polymers with formaldehyde, heavy oxo ends, and sulfurized petroleum is not expected.
There is potential for environmental exposure from heavy oxo ends from its use as an industrial de-foamer; however, exposure to the environment is expected to be low given the effectiveness of the removal process during wastewater treatment and their biodegradability (ability of a substance to breakdown).
Based on current use patterns and availability in Canada, environmental exposure to the remaining 7 hydrocarbon-based substances is expected to be low.
As petroleum resins, hydrocarbon resin and polymerized C5-12 distillates have similar properties, a similar approach was used for assessing potential health effects.
The 8 hydrocarbon-based substances were considered to be of low hazard potential for the human health, or to have low exposure potential for the general population in Canada.
Based upon available information, heavy oxo ends was identified as having a potential hazard to the environment due to potential ecotoxicity of soluble alcohol components. The remaining 7 hydrocarbon-based substances are considered to represent a low hazard to the environment.
Risk assessment outcomes
On the basis of the exposure and hazard information presented in the draft screening assessment, the risk to human health from the select 8 hydrocarbon-based substances is considered to be low.
Considering all information presented in the draft screening assessment, it was determined that the 8 select hydrocarbon-based substances are unlikely to be causing ecological harm.
The Government is proposing that petroleum resins, hydrocarbon resin, polymerized C5-12 distillates, oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with EA, oxidized hydrocarbon waxes with 2-MAE, alkylated naphthalene sulfonate sodium salt polymers with formaldehyde, heavy oxo ends, and sulfurized petroleum are not harmful to human health at levels of exposure considered in the assessment.
The Government is also proposing that these 8 substances are not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.
Some of the select hydrocarbon-based 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.