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Canada Consults Over Proposed Regulation on Toxic Substances in Certain Products

SafeGuardSHardgoods, AutomotiveNovember 23, 2023

SG 157/23

Canada has initiated a consultation over its draft legislation on hazardous substances in certain products. If approved, the new law will enter into force on the day which it is registered.

On November 18, 2023, Canada initiated a consultation over the nation’s proposed Certain Products Containing Toxic Substances Regulations (the draft Regulation) to prohibit certain coal tar-based sealant products and restrict polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in specific sealants. If approved, the new law will enter into force on the day which it is registered.

Coal tars and their distillates are complex mixtures of (mainly aromatic) hydrocarbons. The proposed Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to CEPA has proposed to add these substances to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA).

PAH are a family of chemicals composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms that are grouped into rings containing five or six carbon atoms. These are currently listed under Part 2 to Schedule 1 of CEPA.

The draft regulation also contains derogations, provisions detailing requirements for permit applications and renewal, conditions of issuance and grounds for refusal or revocation of the permit, record keeping, including information requirements, format and a timeline for record retention.

Highlights of the requirements for coal tars, their distillates and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the draft Regulation are summarized in Table 1.

SubstanceScopeRequirementProposed effective date
Coal tars and their distillates
  • Pavement sealants
  • Roofing sealants
  • Sealants for industrial use on metal, structural steel or concrete components or on pipelines or other buried services1
ProhibitedJanuary 1, 2025
(manufacture or import)

June 30, 2025
(sell or offer for sale)
  • Pavement sealants2
  • Roofing sealants2
≤ 1,000 ppm (total)January 1, 2025
(manufacture or import)

June 30, 2025
(sell or offer for sale)

1 May be sold or offered for sale until January 1, 2028

2 Other than sealant products containing coal tars and their distillates

Table 1

Additionally, the draft regulation restricts 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE) in several categories of products:

  • Aerosol cleaners other than pump-spray cleaners (≤ 5.0%)
  • Aerosol paints or coatings other than pump-spray paints or coatings (≤ 0.1%)
  • Automobile cleaners other than automobile degreasers or internal engine cleaners (≤ 10.0%)
  • Cleaners other than non-aerosol cleaners (≤ 6.0%)
  • Floor or baseboard strippers (≤ 2.0%)
  • Laundry stain removers (≤ 22.0%)
  • Non-aerosol paints or coatings (≤ 0.5%)
  • Paint strippers or thinners (≤ 0.5%)
  • Rug or carpet cleaners (≤ 10.0%)

The draft regulation would repeal the 2-Butoxyethanol Regulations (2-BE Regulations, SOR/2006-347) as part of a generic regulation strategy.

Comments on the draft regulation will be accepted until January 28, 2024.

With an extensive global network of highly experienced technicians and local state-of-the-art laboratories, SGS’s Restricted Substance Testing Service (RSTS) has developed a one-stop solution for manufacturers and suppliers. Discover more on our website, visit our RSTS cloud and contact us if you would like to learn more about how SGS can support. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested.

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For further information, please contact:

HingWo Tsang

Dr. HingWo Tsang

Global Information and Innovation Manager
Melanie Tamayo

Melanie Tamayo

Senior Technical Manager, SGS NA.

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