Ethylbenzene

Information Sheet

Information gathering

2019 Voluntary information gathering

In May 2019, a voluntary information gathering questionnaire was distributed to certain stakeholders regarding ethylbenzene. Information received through this questionnaire is being gathered to inform the potential development of Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions to monitor changes in exposure to ethylbenzene from products available to consumers, such as lacquers, stains, varnishes and concrete floor sealers. The questionnaire applies to those who, during the 2018 calendar year, manufactured or imported interior or dual use (interior/exterior) lacquers, stains, varnishes, concrete floor sealers or similar consumer products containing ethylbenzene, at a concentration equal to or above 1.0 % by weight (w/w%).

For more information or to participate in this information gathering initiative, contact the Substances Management Information Line at eccc.substances.eccc@canada.ca. Completed questionnaires can be submitted using Environment and Climate Change Canada's Single Window by August 2, 2019.

Final screening assessment

In April 2016, the Final Screening Assessment on Ethylbenzene was released and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 150 No. 18 - April 30, 2016. Following the publication of the draft screening assessment, analysis of new information on current levels of ethylbenzene in consumer products determined that this exposure was not considered to be of concern at the time. Therefore, the final screening assessment concluded that ethylbenzene does not meet any of the criteria set out in section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Health proposed to take no further action on this substance at the time under the act. No proposed risk management approach was prepared.

The final screening assessment of ethylbenzene concluded that a concern for human health had not been identified for the general population of Canada at current levels of exposure. However, ethylbenzene is recognized to have effects of concern based on tumour induction and non-cancer systemic effects, primarily on the auditory system. There may be a concern for human health if exposures to ethylbenzene in the general population of Canada were to increase, for example, through an increased presence in products available to consumers. Therefore, it is recommended that ethylbenzene be subject to the SNAc provisions specified under subsection 81(3) of CEPA 1999. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed SNAc provisions.

Draft screening assessment and risk management scope

In February 2014, the Draft Screening Assessment on Ethylbenzene was released and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 148 No. 6 - February 8, 2014. A Risk Management Scope on Ethylbenzene was also released in conjunction with this publication. There were 60-day public comment periods associated with these publications.

The draft screening assessment proposed to conclude that ethylbenzene met one or more of the criteria set out in section 64 of the CEPA 1999. Comments and the Government's response relating to general themes on the draft screening assessment are provided in the Summary of Public Comments received on the Draft Screening Assessment on Ethylbenzene.

Background

Before the launch of the Chemicals Management Plan in 2006, a screening assessment pilot project was initiated to apply new tools and approaches to a subset of substances on the Domestic Substances List (DSL) such as ethylbenzene, that were anticipated to meet the ecological or human health categorization criteria. Subsequently, under the categorization exercise, ethylbenzene was found to be a high priority for assessment from a human health perspective.

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