Phosphoric acid, tris(methylphenyl) ester (TCP) - information sheet

Phosphoric acid, tris(methylphenyl) ester

CAS Registry Number 1330-78-5

On this page


  • The Government of Canada conducted a science-based evaluation, called a screening assessment of TCP, to address the potential for harm to Canadians and to 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.
  • Although TCP is associated with some human health effects, the risk to Canadians is low at current levels of exposure. It is concluded that this substance is not harmful to human health or to the environment.

About this substance

  • This screening assessment focuses on 1 of 10 substances referred to collectively under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) as the Certain Organic Flame Retardants Substance Grouping which includes organic substances having similar function: application to materials to slow the ignition and spread of fire. The substance addressed in this assessment is phosphoric acid, tris(methylphenyl) ester also referred to as tricresyl phosphate or TCP.
  • TCP does not occur naturally in the environment.
  • According to information gathered by the Government, TCP is used in Canada in adhesives and sealants, automobile parts, aircraft items, electrical and electronic items, and as a fire-resistant lubricant and grease additive.

Human and ecological exposures

  • The main sources of exposure for the general population in Canada are expected to be from the environment (for example air, dust, soil, and water), food, including breast milk, and from the use of products available to consumers such as furniture (with treated upholstery or foam), and lubricants.
  • TCP may be released to the Canadian environment through wastewater as a result of industrial processing activities.

Key health and ecological effects (hazard)

  • To identify effects on human health, national and international reports of data were reviewed and used to inform the health effects characterization in this assessment.
  • The important or ‘critical’ effects considered from exposure to TCP are effects on the adrenal cortex and ovary.
  • TCP has demonstrated moderate to high toxicity to aquatic organisms.

Risk assessment outcomes

  • Based upon a comparison of levels to which Canadians may be exposed to TCP and levels associated with health effects, the risk to human health from this substance is considered to be low.
  • Considering all information presented, it was also determined that there is low risk of harm to the environment from TCP.
  • The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for TCP on May 11, 2019.

Screening assessment conclusions

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

Related information

  • TCP 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 TCP in the workplace can 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).

Page details

Date modified: