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Oxirane, (butoxymethyl)-(n-butyl glycidyl ether) (n-BGE)

CAS Registry Number 2426-08-6

What is it?

  • Oxirane, (butoxymethyl), also known as n-butyl glycidyl ether or n-BGE, is an industrial chemical.

How is it used?

  • n-BGE is used as a diluent for epoxy resins, as a chemical used in the manufacture of other chemicals and as a stabilizer of chlorinated solvents.
  • In Canada, it is mainly used in epoxy resin formulations which have applications in coatings, adhesives, binders, sealants, fillers and resins.
  • n-BGE is not manufactured in Canada, but is imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • Prior to the assessment, n-BGE was identified as a potential concern for human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance which may cause cancer and genetic damage in laboratory animals, and based on a moderate potential for exposure (not including workplace exposures) to the general population of Canada.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • Exposure to the general population of Canada to n-BGE is expected to be low and to occur predominantly via inhalation of contaminated air.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of n-BGE, called a screening assessment.
  • The Government of Canada has concluded that n-BGE may be harmful to human health.
  • The Government of Canada has also concluded that n-BGE is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment.
  • Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population (not including workplace exposures).

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • Exposure to the general population of Canada is currently considered to be low and the Government of Canada is taking action so that exposure remains low.
  • The Government of Canada will investigate the utility of implementing a future use notification tool. This would require that any proposed new manufacture, import or use of this substance be subject to further assessment before considering whether to allow such activities.
  • The final screening assessment and the proposed risk management approach documents were published on March 6, 2010. The publication of the proposed risk management approach document will be followed by a 60-day comment period, ending May 5, 2010.

What can Canadians do?

  • The health risks associated with a chemical depend on the hazard (its potential to cause health effects) and the dose (the amount of chemical to which you are exposed).
  • Although exposure to n-BGE among the general population is low, as a general precaution, Canadians are reminded when using any product, to carefully follow any safety warnings and directions.
  • Canadians who handle n-BGE in the workplace should consult with their occupational health and safety representative about safe handling practices, applicable laws and requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.