Risk Evaluation Determining Whether Environmental Emergency Planning is Required Under the Environmental Emergency Regulations set under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999)

Cadmium Sulphate (CAS #: 10124-36-4)(Inorganic Cadmium Compounds)(CEPA, 1999 Schedule 1, #31)

Summary of Risk Evaluation Analysis

The Risk Evaluation Framework (REF), developed by Environment Canada, is applied to chemical substances in order to determine whether or not an environmental emergency (E2) plan should be required. For those substances that are evaluated as requiring an E2 plan, the next step is to determine a threshold quantity for the total quantity of the substance and the maximum storage container size on site. Within the REF, three categories are used to evaluate chemicals and assign threshold quantities. Shown below are the details within the three categories for cadmium sulphate:

Return to Top of Page
Top of Page

1. Environment Hazard

(Persistence, Bioaccumulation and Aquatic Toxicity Analysis)

Return to Top of Page
Top of Page

2. Human Hazard

(Inhalation Toxicity and Carcinogenicity Analysis)

Return to Top of Page
Top of Page

3. Physical Hazard

(Flammability and Combustibility Analysis)

Flammability and Combustibility Analysis Table
  Value Vapour Cloud Explosion (Yes/No) Combustible (Yes/No) References
Boiling point (°C) No data No No (Genium, 2004; HSDB, 2004; ATSDR, 1999)
Flash Point (°C) No data (Genium, 2004; ATSDR, 1999)
Return to Top of Page
Top of Page


The data from the above mentioned categories were used to determine the various environmental/human thresholds. The threshold quantities relate to: carcinogenicity, aquatic toxicity, inhalation toxicity, vapour cloud explosion, combustibility, and reactivity.

The threshold quantity for carcinogenicity is defaulted to 0.22 tonnes, if it meets the following criteria:

1) have an IARC rating of 1, 2A or 2B, or have a US EPA rating of A, B1, or B2;

2) be persistent in any media for greater than 5 years.

Threshold quantities assigned as a result of aquatic toxicity are based on the following table:

Threshold Quantities Assigned as a Result of Aquatic Toxicity
Criteria Extremely Toxic Highly Toxic Moderately Toxic Slightly Toxic
Persistence (water) ≥ 6 months ≥ 2 months to < 6 months N/A N/A
Bioaccumulation BCF ≥ 5000 or Log Kow ≥ 5 BCF ≥ 500 to < 5000 or Log Kow ≥ 4 to < 5 (unless BCF < 500) N/A N/A
Acute Aquatic Toxicity (96 hrs LC50 – mg/L) ≤ 0.1 > 0.1 to ≤ 1 > 1 to ≤ 10 > 10 to ≤ 100
Threshold Quantity Tonnes (lbs) 0.22 (500 lbs) 1.13 (2 500 lbs) 4.50 (10 000 lbs) 9.10 (20 000 lbs)

A substance is a candidate for a vapour cloud explosion if its flash point is < 23°C and its boiling point is < 35°C . A substance is considered combustible if its flash point is < 23°C or its boiling point is < 35°C . In accordance with the precautionary principle, the category with the lowest threshold will be used. For further explanation, please refer to the Implementation Guidelines for Part 8 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 – Environmental Emergency Plans. (http://www.ec.gc.ca/ee-ue/)

Return to Top of Page
Top of Page


For cadmium sulphate # 31, the E2 hazard threshold was triggered by:

1) Aquatic toxicity at 0.22 tonnes;

2) Carcinogenicity at 0.22 tonnes.

Therefore, cadmium sulphate # 31 is recommended for addition to Schedule 1 of the Environmental Emergency Regulations under Part 3 with a threshold quantity of 0.22 tonnes.


ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry). Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. Centre for Disease Control. PB/99/166621. 1999. World Wide Web accessed October 2004.

Cesars. Cadmium sulphate. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. 1999. World Wide Web accessed October 2004.

Environment Canada. Existing Substances Branch. Guidance Manual for the Categorization of Organic and Inorganic Substances on Canada’s Domestic Substances List: Determining Persistence, Bioaccumulation Potential, and Inherent Toxicity to Non-human Organisms. June 2003. p. 69.

Finlayson, B.L., and K.M. Verrue. “Toxicities of Copper, Zinc, and Cadmium Mixtures to Juvenile Chinook Salmon.” 1982. Transaction of the American Fisheries Society. 111(5):645-650. 

Genium. “Material Safety Data Sheet – Cadmium Sulphate”. Release 58. CD-ROM. Genium Publishing Corporation, 2004.

HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank). Cadmium Sulphate. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. U.S. Library of Medicine. 2004. World Wide Web accessed September 2004.

IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). Cadmium and cadmium compounds. World Health Organization. 1993. World Wide Web accessed October 2004. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol58/volume58.pdf

IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System). Cadmium. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. World Wide Web accessed October 2004.

Mackay, D., E. Webster, D. Woodfine, T.M. Cahill, P. Doyle, Y. Couillard, and D. Gutzman. “Contributed Articles Towards Consistent Evaluation of the Persistence of Organic, Inorganic and Metallic Substances.” 2003. ASP. Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre and Environment Canada. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. 9: 1445-1474. ISSN: 1080-7039.

Wicklund, A., and P. Runn. "Calcium Effects on Cadmium Uptake, Redistribution, and Elimination in Minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus, Acclimated to Different Calcium Concentrations". 1988. Aquat.Toxicol. 13(2): 109-122.

Cat. No.: En14-55/10-2011E-PDF

ISBN: 978-1-100-19699-2

For information regarding reproduction rights, please contact Public Works and Government Services Canada at 613-996-6886 or at droitdauteur.copyright@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2011

Aussi disponible en français