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The Rapid Screening Approach

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An important initiative under the Chemicals Management Plan is the rapid screening of substances that the Government considers to be of low concern. The rapid screening approach makes use of both qualitative and quantitative steps to efficiently evaluate the likelihood that a substance may cause harm, given conservative estimates of exposure. At each step in the rapid screening process, any substance that appears to present a potential for harm will be identified as requiring further assessment. For those substances that pass through all steps of the rapid screening without being identified as requiring further assessment, the Government will conclude that the substances are unlikely to meet the criteria set out in paragraphs 64(a), (b) or (c) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999).

Rapid Screening of Polymers identified from Phase Two of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update

Based on information submitted pursuant to a section 71 of CEPA 1999 regarding commercial activity in Canada under Phase 2 of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update, 336 polymers of the approximately 2700 inanimate substances surveyed were identified for application of a rapid screening approach because they were not identified as being in commerce in Canada at levels greater than 1000 kg during the 2012 calendar year. View more information about Polymers and the Approach under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to address polymers on the Domestic Substances List that were identified as priorities during categorization. These substances included those that met categorization criteria for Greatest Potential for Exposure (GPE) to humans or for persistence (P) or bioaccumulation potential (B) and inherent toxicity (iT) to human or non-human organisms (PiT or BiT) under subsection 73(1) of CEPA 1999. Additional substances had been identified as posing a high hazard to human health based on classifications by other national or international agencies for carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, developmental toxicity or reproductive toxicity.

Final Screening Assessment

In June 2016, the Final Screening Assessment of Polymers Identified from Phase two of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 150, No. 25 - June 18, 2016 (PDF Version - 2,741 K). The final screening assessment concludes that 275 polymers do not meet any of the criteria set out under section 64 of CEPA 1999. The remaining 61 substances will be subject to further assessment.

Draft Screening Assessment

In February 2015, the draft Screening Assessment of Polymers Identified from Phase Two of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 149, No. 9 - February 28, 2015 (PDF Version - 2,086 K) for a 60-day public comment period. The draft screening assessment proposed to conclude that 275 polymers out of the 336 do not meet any of the criteria set out under section 64 of CEPA 1999. The remaining 61 polymers were identified as needing further assessment.

View more information on Polymers.

Rapid Screening of Substances from Phase Two of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update

Based on information submitted pursuant to a section 71 of CEPA 1999 regarding commercial activity in Canada under Phase 2 of the Domestic Substances List (DSL) Inventory Update (IU), 870 of the approximately 2700 inanimate substances surveyed were identified for application of a rapid screening approach because they were identified as being in commerce in Canada at a total quantity of ≤ 1000 kg/year. The majority of the 870 substances met the categorization criteria for persistence or bioaccumulation and inherent toxicity to human or non-human organisms (PiT or BiT) or for Greatest Potential for Exposure (GPE) to humans or under subsection 73(1) of CEPA 1999. Some substances considered in this assessment had been identified as posing a high hazard to human health based on classifications by other national or international agencies for carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, developmental toxicity or reproductive toxicity.

Draft Screening Assessment

In February 2015, the Draft Screening Assessment of Substances from Phase Two of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update using the rapid screening approach was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette Part I: Vol. 149, No. 9 - February 28, 2015 (PDF Version - 2,086 K) for a 60-day public comment period. The draft screening assessment proposed to conclude that 612 of the 869 substances do not meet any of the criteria set out under section 64 of CEPA 1999. The remaining 257 substances were identified as needing further assessment.

Because these 612 substances are listed on the DSL, their import and manufacture in Canada are not subject to notification under subsection 81(1) of CEPA 1999. Although a risk to the environment or human health has not been identified, 40 substances in this assessment are recognized to have properties of concern. There may be a concern for the environment or for human health if exposures to these substances were to increase. Options on how best to monitor changes in the use profiles of these substances are being investigated and may include application of the Significant New Activity provisions and/or addition to the DSL IU.

Rapid Screening of Substances from Phase One of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update

Based on information submitted pursuant to section 71 of CEPA 1999 regarding commercial activity in Canada under Phase 1 of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update, 140 of the approximately 500 inanimate substances surveyed were identified for application of a rapid screening approach because they were not identified as being in commerce Canada at levels greater than 1000 kg during the 2008 calendar year. These substances included those that met categorization criteria for Greatest Potential for Exposure (GPE) to humans or for persistence (P) or bioaccumulation potential (B) and inherent toxicity (iT) to human or non-human organisms (PiT or BiT) under subsection 73(1) of CEPA 1999. Additional substances had been identified as posing a high hazard to human health based on classifications by other national or international agencies for carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, developmental toxicity or reproductive toxicity.

Final Screening Assessment

In March 2014, the Final Screening Assessment of Substances from Phase One of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update using the rapid screening approach was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 148, No. 13 - March 29, 2014 (PDF Version - 11,279 K). The final screening assessment concludes that 117 of the 140 substances do not meet any of the criteria set out under section 64 of CEPA 1999. The remaining 23 substances were identified as needing further assessment.

Draft Screening Assessment

In June 2013, the Draft Screening Assessment of Substances from Phase One of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update using the rapid screening approach was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 147, No. 25 - June 15, 2013 (PDF Version - 2,106 K) for a 60-day public comment period. Comments and the Government's response relating to general themes on the draft screening assessment are summarized in the Summary of Overarching Public Comments received on the Draft Screening Assessment on Substances from Phase One of the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update.

Rapid Screening of Substances of Low Concern

Based on the results from the categorization of substances on the Domestic Substances List (DSL), 1066 substances were identified for application of a rapid screening approach. These substances included those that met categorization criteria as being inherently toxic (ecological) and either persistent or bioaccumulative (but not both), in addition to being in commerce in low quantities (maximum use in Canada of 1000 kg per year based on 1986 data) and were therefore expected to be of lower concern. The Government's intent to apply a rapid screening approach to substances of low concern was announced in Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 140 No. 49 - December 9, 2006 (PDF Version - 1,478 K) and a draft issue paper outlining this rapid screening approach (ecological considerations) was released on the CEPA Registry website on December 9, 2006. This paper was since revised and a final version entitled Technical Approach for "Rapid Screening" of Substances of Lower Ecological Concern was released in June 2007. Sixty-one substances initially included in the approach have been withdrawn for a variety of reasons. The rapid screening approach has now been applied to 1005 substances believed to be of low concern. None of the substances met categorization criteria for human health.

Final Screening Assessment

In April 2013, the Final Screening Assessment of Substances of Low Concern was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 147, No. 17 - April 20, 2013 (PDF Version - 2,214 K).

The final screening assessment concluded that 533 of the 1005 substances of low concern do not meet the criteria as set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999.

The Government is committed to identifying and addressing all substances that may pose risks to the environment or to human health. Therefore, in order to validate the assumptions made under this rapid screening approach, further information regarding the current quantities of these substances that are in commerce in Canada will be obtained through the Government's Domestic Substances List Inventory Update program.

The remaining 472 of the 1005 substances which underwent rapid screening have been identified as requiring further screening assessment in order to evaluate their potential to cause harm. They have also been included in the Inventory Update initiatives. These substances will be addressed with other substances moving forward in the Chemicals Management Plan.

Updated Draft Screening Assessment

In June 2011, the updated draft Screening Assessment of Substances of Low Concern was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 145, No. 25 - June 18, 2011 (PDF Version - 1,399 K).

There was a 60-day comment period (between June 18, 2011 and August 17, 2011) associated with this publication. Public comments were received, and are summarized in the Response to comments received following the Publication after Screening Assessment of 545 Low Concern Substances on the Domestic Substances List.

Following the close of the public comment period, all information that was received relating to the updated draft screening assessment was considered in the preparation of the final screening assessment.

Draft Screening Assessment

In June 2007, a summary of the Screening Assessment of Substances of Low Concern using the rapid screening approach was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 141, No. 25 - June 23, 2007 (PDF Version - 1,863 K).

There was a 60-day comment period (between June 23, 2007 and August 22, 2007) associated with this publication. Public comments were received, and are summarized in the Response to comments received following the Publication after Screening Assessment of 754 Low Concern Substances on the Domestic Substances List.

Following the close of the public comment period, all information that was received relating to the draft screening assessment was considered in the preparation of the updated draft screening assessment.