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Many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, which is a component of smog. As a result, they were added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) [hereafter referred to as the “List of Toxic Substances”] in July 2003. Evidence indicates, however, that some VOCs do not significantly contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Several of these compounds are therefore excluded from the List of Toxic Substances.


Scientific assessments conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) have concluded that 16 additional VOCs contribute negligibly to the formation of ground-level ozone, and therefore they have been included in the list of compounds excluded from the regulatory definition of VOCs in the United States. Environment Canada has examined the scientific approach used by the U.S. EPA and agrees with these assessments.

The VOC definition in Canada’s List of Toxic Substances and the management of these 16 compounds do not reflect the conclusions of the assessments regarding the low underlying risk with respect to ground-level ozone. Consequently, there are inconsistencies between the regulatory definitions of VOCs in the United States and Canada, and unnecessary limitations on the use of these compounds in product formulations in Canada.


To learn more about the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, please see the link above.  Please contact Nexreg for MSDS services.