Micro-organisms

Micro-organisms are broadly defined as bacteria, fungi, yeasts, protozoa, algae, viruses, eukaryotic cell culture, and any culture other than a pure culture. As with chemicals, new and existing micro-organisms must undergo a screening assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) to determine whether they can cause harm to human health or the environment.

As part of the Chemicals Management Plan, the 68 micro-organism strains on the Domestic Substances List (DSL) will be assessed. The Government of Canada used known hazard characteristics to rank the micro-organism strains into groups that determine their priority for assessment. The criteria used to rank the micro-organism strains are described in the Prioritization of Micro-organism Strains on the Domestic Substances List.

  • Priority A- Micro-organism strains on the DSL given a high priority for assessment because they are considered human, plant or animal pathogens by recognized authorities or (in the case of microbial consortia) because the hazard level is uncertain.
  • Priority B- Micro-organism strains on the DSL given a medium priority for assessment because, while they are not specifically identified as pathogens, there is significant evidence in the scientific literature of potential to cause harm to human health or the environment.
  • Priority C- Micro-organism strains on the DSL identified for expedited assessment based on their lower potential to cause harm to human health or the environment.
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