Environment Canada has issued a notice directing manufacturers and importers to provide information about their use of phthalates in food and beverage contact materials, among other consumer products. According to the July 13, 2013, announcement in the Canada Gazette, the government has identified more than 30 phthalate substances for priority assessment under its Chemicals Management Plan. To this end, Environment Canada has asked industry for details about the manufacture, importation and use of these substances “for the purposes of assessing whether [they] are toxic or capable of becoming toxic, or for the purpose of assessing whether to control [them].”
The notice applies to those stakeholders who (i) imported or manufactured more than 100 kilograms of any of the listed substances at a concentration equal to or above 0.001 percent by weight; (ii) used more than 1,000 kilograms of a substance at that concentration; or (iii) imported phthalatecontaining products intended for children younger than age 6; for direct contact with food, beverages, cosmetics, or personal care products; for inhalation, skin exposure or contact with mucous membranes; or for use in clothing and footwear, furniture, flooring, or electronics. In particular, the agency has asked for data on the use of phthalates in “food and beverage products, mixtures or manufactured items,” as well as “single or multi-layered packaging consisting of paper, plastic, metal, foil or other materials which have or may have direct contact with food.” These data include any unpublished studies on the human health or ecological impact of phthalates, in addition to descriptions of the facilities where phthalates are manufactured or used.
Respondents who fail to submit the required information are subject to fines and/or jail terms under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Environment Canada will accept responses to its notice until November 13, 2013.