Environment Canada and Health Canada have published a draft order that would identify benzyl chloride as toxic under section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The draft order would classify the substance, which is used in the production of benzalkonium chloride, as a Category 1 carcinogen.
Benzalkonium chloride is a chemical intermediate in the production of other compounds used in hand surface sanitizers, corrosion inhibitors, industrial and institutional cleaners, skin antiseptics, food packaging, and personal care products. Benzyl chloride has been classified as a Category 2 carcinogen by the European Union and a Group B2 carcinogen by the U.S. EPA. The draft order was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on February 27, 2010, and is open to public comment for 60 days. Once the draft order becomes final, the government must propose regulations or some other control measure no later than November 28, 2011, and issue final measures by May 28, 2013.