Organotins

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Adding Substances to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

Tributyltins and tetrabutyltins were determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) and have therefore been included in a final Order to add to Schedule 1. This addition made pursuant to subsection 90(1) of CEPA 1999 enables the development of regulatory risk management proposals for these substances under the Act. The ministers may, however, choose to develop non-regulatory instruments to manage human health and environmental risks posed by these substances.

Applying Significant New Activity (SNAc) Provisions

Fluorotriphenyltin and tetraphenyltin have been addressed through the application of Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions. One Order and a corresponding Notice of intent have been published.

  • Order amending the Domestic Substances List that applies to fluorotriphenyltin and tetraphenyltin Canada Gazette, Part II: Vol. 143, No. 17 - August 19, 2009 (PDF Version - 2355 K).
    • Corresponding Notice of intent: Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 141, No. 16 - April 21, 2007 (PDF Version - 709 K).

The conclusion of the final screening assessment is that these two substances are currently not entering, or likely to enter, the environment as a result of commercial activity, and therefore that they do not meet the criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999.

However, given the hazardous properties of flurophenyltin and tetraphenyltin, there is concern that new activities for the two substances could lead to the substances meeting the criteria set out in section 64 of the Act. Therefore the Domestic Substances List has been amended, and these two substances are now subject to the SNAc provisions specified under subsection 81(3) of the Act, which require that any new manufacture, import or use of any of these substances in quantities greater than 100 kg/year is notified and will undergo ecological and human health risk assessments as specified in section 83 of the Act prior to the substance being introduced into Canada.

Final Follow-up Assessment Report and Proposed Risk Management Approach

In August 2009, the Final Follow-up Assessment Report on Non-Pesticidal Organotin Compounds was released. A Notice relating to this release was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol.143, No. 32 - August 8, 2009 ( PDF Version - 1137 K).

The final assessment concluded that:

  • monomethyltins, dimethyltins, monobutyltins, dibutyltins, monooctyltins, dioctyltins, fluorotriphenyltin and tetraphenyltin do not meet the criteria set out in paragraphs 64(a) or (b) of CEPA 1999; and
  • tributyltins and tetrabutyltins meet the criterion set out in paragraph 64(a) of CEPA 1999 and furthermore, tributyltins meet the criteria for virtual elimination.

Given the hazardous properties, as well as the potential for persistence and biocaccumulation and the continuing uses of tributyltins and tetrabutyltin, it was recommended that these substances be added to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999. As such, a proposed Order to add tributyltins and tetrabutyltins to the List of Toxic substances (Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999) was released for a 60-day public comment period.

Fluorotriphenyltin and tetraphenyltin have hazardous properties, but they are not currently manufactured in or imported into Canada. To ensure that these substances are notified and undergo ecological and human health assessments prior to being reintroduced into Canada, an Order amending the Domestic Substances List to apply the SNAc provisions of CEPA 1999 to these two substances was published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

A proposed Risk Management Approach Document for Non-Pesticidal Organotin Compounds was also released in August 2009. This document outlines the proposed risk management actions for these substances, including the choice of risk management instruments. There was a 60-day public comment period associated with this document.

The Government's Response to Stakeholders' Comments regarding Tributyltins on the Proposed Risk Management Approach for Non-Pesticidal Organotin Compounds and the Consultation Document for the Proposed Risk Management Measure for the Non-Pesticidal Uses of Tributyltin is now available.

You may also obtain copies of the final report and the risk management approach document by contacting the Substances Management Information Line.

Background

Non-pesticidal organotin compounds, which appeared on the first Priority Substances List (PSL1), were assessed in 1993 to determine whether they met the criteria set out in section 11 of CEPA, which is now repealed and replaced by CEPA 1999. For information on the PSL1 assessment on organotins, please visit the Existing Substances Division Web site.

A re-assessment of the ecological impacts of organotins was conducted because subsequent notifications, which included new information on the use and fate of organotins, indicated that these substances could potentially pose risks to the environment.

A draft follow-up ecological risk assessment report on organotins was released in April 2007, and a Notice was published indicating the government's proposed measures for these substances. Following the release of this information, there was a 60-day public comment period, from April 21, 2007, to June 20, 2007. During the public comment period, stakeholders could file written comments on the recommendations the Ministers proposed to take, and their scientific basis. The public comments received from stakeholders have been considered and addressed within the final follow-up assessment report, and responses to the comments received are provided in the Summary Table of Public Comments Received on the Draft Follow-up Risk Assessment Report (PDF Version - 25 K).

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