Revised Canadian polymers approach document released by government

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29th December 2014 12:53 - Chemicals

An updated version of Canada’s polymers approach document, which outlines its method of tackling polymers on the domestic substances list, has been released by the Canadian government.

The items of said list were recognised as priorities when being categorized in 2006.

The polymer approach was created in order to monitor and regulate any dangers, which may arise from the polymers identified during categorization. The risks monitored are associated with health and safety and environmental safety.

According to Canada’s government, the approach employed experience within Environment Canada and Health Canada. It also utilized other global work surrounding the regulation of polymers.

The Canadian government compiled data from approximately 600 candidate polymer suppliers under phase 2 of the updated Domestic Substances List, which began in 2012 (CW GBB July/August 2013).   

The approach was compulsory for candidates, which either manufactured or imported polymers in amounts larger than 1000 kilograms per year. However, data regarding specific qualities of the material imported or manufactured, its uses, molecular weight and toxicological effects were not mandatory.

Due to the polymers found in commerce being of a higher quantity than the reporting threshold, they are “most likely to have potential for exposure”. These materials possibly may be required to go through a second data collecting initiative.

The government has announced that the method of the initiative may be a compulsory section 71 survey or a voluntary approach.

The polymers, which met the reporting threshold, or polymers of a low volume, would be required to go through the process of rapid screening. The screening would identify any possible risks to the environment and the general population.

Should any materials have a possible risk of exposure, they will then go through a hazard screening. If the polymers do not fall in the threshold of low hazard, they will then be required to undergo additional information collection exercises.

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