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Methanone, bis(4-(dimethylamino)phenyl)- (Michler's ketone)

CAS Registry Number 90-94-8

What is it?

  • Methanone, bis[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-, also known as Michler's ketone, is an industrial chemical.

How is it used?

  • Michler's ketone is found in Canada and elsewhere as a residue (leftover from manufacturing process) in dyes and pigments used in paper products. It may also be present in inks used in pens.
  • Michler's ketone can also be used in industrial processes such as in dry film products and in electronics manufacturing.
  • Michler's ketone is not manufactured in Canada, but is imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • Prior to the assessment, Michler's ketone was identified as a potential concern for human health based on its classification by international organizations as a substance which may cause cancer 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?

  • The general population of Canada may be exposed to Michler's ketone from its presence as a residue in colourants for paper products and ink-based pens.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of Michler's ketone, called a screening assessment.
  • The Government of Canada has concluded that Michler's ketone may be harmful to human health.
  • The Government of Canada has also concluded that Michler's ketone 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 of 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 Government of Canada is also conducting laboratory analyses to investigate the presence of Michler's ketone in a variety of relevant pen and paper products found in the Canadian marketplace.
  • The Government is proposing to add Michler's ketone to the Next link will take you to another Web site Health Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist, which is the list of ingredients that are intended to be prohibited or restricted for use in cosmetics, including many personal care products. Under Canadian legislation, cosmetics that contain substances that are harmful to the user cannot be sold.
  • Michler's ketone is included in Next link will take you to another Web site Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). The NPRI is Canada's legislated, publicly-accessible inventory of pollutants released, disposed of and sent for recycling by facilities across the country. Industrial, institutional and commercial facilities which meet legislative NPRI reporting requirements must notify Environment Canada of any releases of substances of concern.
  • 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 Michler's ketone 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 Michler's ketone 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.