Canada’s draft Framework for the Risk Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials was released June 17, 2022 for a public comment period of 60 days.

Nanomaterials are currently regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 which utilizes the Domestic Substances List (DSL) to distinguish between substances that are in commerce (existing) or new to the Canadian market. Chemical substances and nanomaterials which are not listed on the DSL are subject to notification requirements.

Chemicals are listed on the DSL according to their Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS RN) which is generally based on a substance’s chemical composition. CAS RN does not distinguish between substances with the same chemical composition but in nanoscale vs non-nanoscale form or the different nanoscale forms (eg shape and size variations) of the substance, therefore nanoforms of substances already listed on the DSL are considered existing substances under the current DSL framework. However, because nanomaterials behave differently from their conventional chemical counterparts, nanomaterials must be assessed differently for their potential risk to human and environmental health. Nanoforms were not explicitly considered in the risk assessment for the chemicals already listed on the DSL, so the Government of Canada is seeking to ensure nanomaterials currently on the market do not pose human or ecological health risks.

The draft Framework seeks to establish new procedures for existing and new nanomtraeials, including:

  1. Risk assessment summaries for new nanomaterials;
  2. Information gathering on existing nanomaterials in the Canadian market; and,
  3. Addressing nanoscale forms of substances on the DSL.

Full text of the framework, plain language versions, and commenting instructions can be read in full here. Written comments must be submitted by mail or email to the Department of the Environment and will be considered in developing the final framework.

Got questions about nanomaterial or other chemical regulations in Canada and abroad? Contact a Nexreg representative and our team will be happy to help!