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Proposed Risk Management Approach
for Polychlorinated Naphthalenes (PCNs)
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number:
July 2, 2011
(PDF Version - 233 KB)
Table of Contents
- Why We Need Action
- Current Uses and Industrial Sectors
- Presence in the Canadian Environment and Exposure Sources
- Overview of Existing Actions
- Proposed Objectives
- Proposed Risk Management
- Consultation Approach
- Next Steps / Proposed Timeline
This Risk Management Approach document builds on the previously released Risk Management Scope document for Chlorinated Naphthalenes, and outlines the proposed control actions for these substances, which include restrictions on Chlorinated Naphthalenes containing 2 to 8 chlorine atoms (referred to as polychlorinated naphthalenes or PCNs) and products containing them. In addition, this Risk Management Approach invites comments in regards to the unintentional production and releases of PCNs during the comment period of 60 days following publication. Comments received on the Risk Management Approach will be taken into consideration in the possible development of additional risk management actions. Consultation will also take place as instrument(s) are developed.
Summary of Risk Management
The Government of Canada plans to take the following actions with respect to PCNs:
- Addition of PCNs to the list of toxic substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999.
- Publication of proposed restrictions on the manufacture, use, import, sale or offer for sale of PCNs and products containing PCNs in the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations.
- Gathering of further information concerning continuing unintentional production of PCNs and development of further risk management actions as required.
- Continued monitoring of the presence of PCNs in the environment.
1.1 Categorization and the Challenge to Industry and Other Interested Stakeholders
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) (Canada, 1999) requires the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health (the Ministers) to categorize all substances on the Domestic Substances List (DSL). Categorization involves identifying those substances on the DSL that a) are considered to be persistent (P) and/or bioaccumulative (B), based on the criteria set out in the Persistence and Bioaccumulation Regulations, and “inherently toxic” (iT) to humans or other organisms, or b) present, to individuals in Canada, the greatest potential for exposure (GPE). In addition, the Act requires the Ministers to conduct screening assessments of substances that meet the categorization criteria. The assessment further determines whether the substance meets the definition of “toxic” set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999.
The substances specified on the Domestic Substances List, naphthalene, chloro derivatives (CAS Registry Number 70776-03-3), describe various chemical mixtures that encompass the class of Chlorinated Naphthalenes.
1.2 Final Screening Assessment Report Conclusion for Chlorinated Napthalenes
A Notice summarizing the scientific considerations of a final screening assessment report (SAR) was published by Environment Canada in the Canada Gazette, Part I for chlorinated naphthalenes on July 2, 2011 under subsection 77(6) of CEPA 1999. Chlorinated Napthalenes containing 1 to 8 atoms (mono- to octa-chlorinated naphthalenes) were assessed, however the final screening assessment report concluded that di- to octa-chlorinated naphthalenes, i.e.: chlorinated naphthalenes containing 2 to 8 chlorine atoms are entering or may be entering the environment in a quantity or a concentration or under conditions that have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment. Chlorinated naphthalenes containing 2 to 8 atoms are called polychlorinated naphthalenes or PCNs and they will be referred to as such in this document.
The final screening assessment report also concluded that PCNs meet the criteria for persistence and meet the criteria for bioaccumulation, as defined by the Persistence and Bioaccumulation Regulations made under CEPA 1999. The presence of PCNs in the environment results primarily from human activity. As such, PCNs are proposed for virtual elimination under subsection 65(3) of the Act since they meet the criteria outlined in subsection 77(4) of the Act.
For further information on the final screening assessment report conclusion, refer to the final screening assessment report.
1.3 Proposed Measure
Following a screening assessment of a substance under section 74 of CEPA 1999, a substance may be found to meet the criteria under section 64 of CEPA 1999. The Ministers can propose to take no further action with respect to the substance, add the substance to the Priority Substances List (PSL) for further assessment, or recommend the addition of the substance to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999.
The final screening assessment report concluded that PCNs meet one or more of the criteria set out in section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The Minister proposes to recommend the addition of PCNs to the list of toxic substances in Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999. PCNs are persistent and bioaccumulative in accordance with the Regulations, their presence in the environment results primarily from human activity, and they are not naturally occurring radionuclides or naturally occurring inorganic substances. As such the Minister will follow the process specified in CEPA 1999 for substances that meet the criteria for virtual elimination.
2.1 Substance Information
Table 1 presents information about the identity of the class of substances chlorinated naphthalenes, including other names, trade names, chemical groupings, the chemical formula, the chemical structure, and the molecular mass for chlorinated naphthalenes.
|Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS RN)||70776-03-3|
|Name on Domestic Substance List(DSL)||Naphthalene, chloro derivatives|
|National Chemical Inventories (NCI) names||Naphthalene, chloro derivs. (TSCA, DSL, EINECS, PICCS,|
Naphthalene, chloro derivatives (AICS)
Naphthalene, Chlorinated (PICCS)
|Trade names/Commercial CNs||Halowaxes, Nibren waxes, Seekay waxes, Clonacire waxes (IPSC, 2001)|
|Chemical Group (DSL stream)||UVCBs-Organics|
|Chemical structure (Generic structure of a chlorinated naphthalene molecule showing the naphthalene ring structure, carbon atom numbering system and potential for chlorine substitution)|
|Molecular Mass (mono-CNs, di-CNs, tri-CNs, tetra-CNs, penta-CNs, hexa-CNs, hepta-CNs, octa-CNs)||162.6, 197.0, 231.5, 266.0, 300.4, 335.0, 369.5, 404.0 g/mol|
3. Why We Need Action
3.1 Characterization of Risk to Human Health
Evidence that a substance is highly persistent and bioaccumulative as defined in the Persistence and Bioaccumulation Regulations of CEPA 1999 (Canada, 2000), when taken together with the potential for environmental release or formation and the potential for toxicity to organisms, provides a significant indication that it may enter the environment under conditions that may have harmful long-term ecological effects. Substances that are persistent remain in the environment for a long time after being released, increasing the potential magnitude and duration of exposure. Releases of small amounts of bioaccumulative substances may lead to high internal concentrations in exposed organisms. Highly bioaccumulative and persistent substances are of special concern, since they may biomagnify in food webs, resulting in very high internal exposures, especially for top predators.
Although PCNs are no longer in commercial use in Canada they continue to enter the Canadian environment from unintentional production as well as through trans-boundary movement of air. They are also persistent in the environment, with di- through octa- chlorinated naphthalenes predicted to be persistent in water, and tri- through octa- chlorinated naphthalenes persistent in both sediment and soil. Based on various lines of evidence that include log Kow values, bioconcentration values in fish, biomagnification factors, high dietary uptake efficiencies and very slow elimination rates from rats, it is concluded that PCNs are bioaccumulative and may biomagnify in trophic food chains. PCNs are predicted to have high aquatic toxicity. This information suggests that PCNs have the potential to cause ecological harm in Canada.
4. Current Uses and Industrial Sectors
PCNs are not currently in commercial use in Canada, the U.S. and many other countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
According to responses to a voluntary industry survey carried out by Environment Canada in 2003, there was no manufacture of PCNs in Canada from 2000 to 2002. Only one company reported importing PCNs (tri- and tetra- chlorinated naphthalenes) for laboratory use from 2000-2002. These imports have since been discontinued.
Wellington Laboratories of Guelph, Ontario, is a supplier of chlorinated naphthalene standard materials for analytical purposes (e.g. the series of Halowax mixtures and single congeners), and these materials are purchased by laboratories around the world, including in Japan (Wellington Laboratories 2005; Takasuga et al. 2004). It is not known whether any other laboratory supply companies in Canada sell chlorinated naphthalene standard materials for analytical purposes.
5. Exposure Sources and Presence in the Canadian Environment
5.1 Unintentional Production and Releases to the Environment
PCNs are no longer in commerce in Canada. However, they are produced unintentionally as a by-product of many industrial processes involving chlorine atoms, especially in the presence of heat, such as waste incineration and the refining of metals such as aluminum (Vogelgesang 1986; Aittola et al. 1994). PCNs are also contaminants found in commercial PCB formulations; however, the PCB Regulations and the previous Chlorobiphenyls Regulations have prohibited the manufacture, export and import of PCBs since 1977 and set specific deadlines for ending their use and storage. In addition to those indicated above, other possible sources of PCNs in the environment could include disposal of products containing PCNs in landfill sites and old industrial sites where PCNs were used. The amount of PCNs released into the environment from all of the sources mentioned above has not been well characterized.
A possible non-anthropogenic source of PCNs is formation through natural combustion of wood (e.g., during forest fires). Although PCNs have been reported to be released to the atmosphere from domestic combustion of wood (Lee et al. 2005), no studies documenting releases from natural combustion (forest fires) have been identified.
Most releases of PCNs are releases to air. Data on unintentional release of PCNs is not collected through the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). Therefore, it is not possible to provide a quantitative estimation of the proportion of release from each sector. Additional research is underway to compile information on the formation of PCNs from industrial sources.
5.2 Presence in the Canadian Environment
The presence of PCNs in the environment is thought to result mainly from human activity. Within Canada, PCNs have been detected in arctic and urban air, water from Lake Ontario, fish and birds from the Great Lakes and environs, seals and whales from the Canadian Arctic and Vancouver Island marmots.
6. Overview of Existing Actions
6.1 Existing Canadian Risk Management
Currently there are no risk management measures in Canada aimed specifically at addressing PCNs but there are various guidelines and standards targeting other chemicals that may also impact unintentional emissions of PCNs.
Measures to control emissions of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (dioxins and furans) are thought to also control the release of PCNs in some sectors, because PCNs are often associated with the formation of dioxins and furans and similar formation pathways have been proposed. Further research is being conducted to assess if PCNs behave in a similar manner to dioxins and furans, produced from similar processes and under similar conditions. In addition, Environment Canada is reviewing existing risk management measures for dioxins and furans to determine if they are applicable to PCNs.
With respect to the waste incineration sector, Canada-Wide Standards (CWS) under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) are in place for incineration facilities that process municipal, medical and hazardous wastes. Actions to reduce national emissions require that any new facilities meet stringent emission limits for dioxins and furans and that the bulk of the emissions from existing facilities be controlled through retrofits with control technology that is efficient at destroying dioxins and furans. A detailed review of 2000 and 2005 annual dioxins and furans air emissions from incineration estimated that releases to air were reduced from 29.4 to 3.7 g ITEQ/year (87% reduction) (CCME, 2007).
Pulp and Paper
While it is expected that the unintentional production of PCNs is similar to dioxins and furans, and pulp and paper mills are known to release dioxins and furans to the environment, there is no concrete evidence linking the production of PCNs to pulp and paper facilities. Even if the production of dioxins and furans and PCNs is proven to be similar, existing regulations for dioxins and furans already serve to manage PCNs in the pulp and paper sector. The Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations and the Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations prohibit the aquatic releases of dioxins and furans from pulp and paper facilities. These regulations have resulted in an industry shift away from elemental chlorine processes and products that form dioxins and furans. Currently, compliance with these regulations is over 90%. No additional action is proposed for this sector.
PCNs may also be found as contaminants in PCB formulations. Regulations restricting PCBs in Canada have prohibited the manufacture, export and import of PCBs since 1977 and set specific deadlines for ending their uses and storage which address potential releases of PCNs from PCB formulations. In addition, the PCB Regulations set specific dates for the destruction of PCBs in service and in storage, and therefore the gradual elimination of other substances present as contaminants in them. Since December 31, 2009, equipment containing 500 mg/kg or more PCBs is no longer permitted for use. Specified equipment in use and containing at least 50 mg/kg but less than 500 mg/kg of PCBs will no longer be permitted to be used after December 31, 2025. No additional action is proposed for this sector.
The linkage between the unintentional production of PCNs and cement manufacturing process is not definitive as the cement sector minimizes the introduction of chlorine to its manufacturing process due to its adverse impact to cement quality. Reports have indicated that PCNs have been detected in cement kiln dust. Cement kiln dust is managed either through reintroduction in cement products or disposal at licensed waste facilities. No further action is proposed for this sector.
Unintentional production of PCNs by the chlor-alkali sector is mainly due to their use as impregnants/lubricants for graphite electrodes, the use of PCBs, and chemical reactions involving graphite electrodes (Kannan et al., 1998; Falandysz, 1998). Since PCNs have not been in commerce for two decades, there would be no current intentional use of PCNs in the chlor-alkali sector as lubricants or in any other processes. Furthermore, mercury and membrane cell processes in Canada do not involve the use of graphite electrodes. Instead anodes made of titanium are employed to prevent the release of chlorinated organics. Finally, the last chlor-alkali plant in Canada shut down in June 2008. Therefore, no further action is proposed to manage the release of PCNs from the chlor-alkali industry, or industries that may release PCNs as a result of chlor-alkali processes.
Although one older study reported that mono- and di-chlorinated naphthalenes are formed at low concentrations as by-products in the chlorination of drinking water (Shiraishi et al. 1985), no evidence has been found in the recent literature to support this finding.
Canada has stopped the production of magnesium in 2008 (IMA, 2008), thus, no action is proposed for this sector.
6.2 Existing International Risk Management
The European Commission, on behalf of its member states, submitted a proposal to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution which would add PCNs to the Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The proposal calls for eliminating the production and use of PCNs and for the voluntary reporting of PCN emission inventories. In December 2006, at the 24th session of the Executive Body, Canada, along with other Parties to the POPs Protocol, decided that PCNs should be considered as a POP as defined under the Protocol and further agreed that it should be listed to Annex I of the Protocol, requiring the elimination of production and use (Weem, 2007). In December 2009, a final decision was made at the 27th session of the Executive Body to add PCNs to Annex I of the POPs Protocol, requiring elimination of production and use.
Waste containing chlorinated naphthalenes is characterized as hazardous waste under Annex VIII of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, to which Canada is a Party, and is therefore subject to the requirements of that Convention.
All halogenated naphthalenes are legally banned in Switzerland (Van de Plassche, 2002), and the import and manufacture of chlorinated naphthalenes have been banned in Japan since 1979 (Sakai et al., 2006).
7.1 Alternative Chemicals or Substitutes
There are no current uses of PCNs because PCNs were phased out many years ago and alternatives are already in use.
7.2 Alternative Technologies and/or Techniques
No information is known at this time regarding the availability and feasibility of using alternative technologies or techniques to minimize unintentional releases of. PCNs. However, technologies and techniques minimizing the releases of dioxins and furans are believed to reduce the emissions of PCNs.
7.3 Socio-economic Considerations
Socio-economic factors have been considered in the selection process for an instrument respecting preventive or control actions for PCNs, and in the development of the risk management objective(s) and approach. Socio-economic factors will also be considered in the development of regulations, instrument(s) and/or tool(s) as indicated in the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 2007), and the guidance provided in the Treasury Board Secretariat document Assessing, Selecting and Implementing Instruments for Government Action.
Given that PCNs have not been in commerce for many years, minimal additional costs are expected to be incurred by industry for eliminating the production and use of PCNs because substitutes are already in use.
PCNs are unintentionally produced and released from the same sources as dioxins and furans. As it is expected that control measures in place for dioxins and furans will also reduce releases of PCNs, little to no extra costs are anticipated for industry in terms of new control measures. However, some costs may be associated with the measuring of PCNs from sectors that emit them unintentionally, for creating emission inventories and for monitoring the levels of PCNs in Canada.
7.4 Children's Exposure
PCNs were not considered to be a high priority for assessment of potential risks to human health, based upon application of the simple exposure and hazard tools developed by Health Canada for categorization of substances on the Domestic Substance List. Therefore, it is proposed that no risk management actions to specifically protect humans are required for this substance at this time.
8. Proposed Objectives
8.1 Environmental and Human Health Objectives
An environmental or human health objective is a quantitative or qualitative statement of what should be achieved to address environmental or human health concerns identified during a risk assessment.
The ultimate environmental objective for PCNs is virtual elimination (VE) which according to CEPA 1999 means, in respect of a toxic substance released into the environment as a result of human activity, the ultimate reduction of the quantity or concentration of the substance in the release below the LoQ specified in the Virtual Elimination List.
8.2 Risk Management Objectives
A risk management objective is a target expected to be achieved for a given substance by the implementation of risk management tool(s) and/or instrument(s).
The proposed risk management objective for PCNs is to prevent the re-introduction of PCNs into the Canadian market and to achieve the lowest level of releases to the environment from industrial sources that is technically and economically feasible. This also includes achieving the lowest level of release from unintentional production of PCNs
9. Proposed Risk Management
9.1 Proposed Risk Management Tool and Regulation
As required by the Government of Canada’s Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation and criteria identified in the Treasury Board document titled Assessing, Selecting, and Implementing Instruments for Government Action, the proposed risk management instrument was selected using a consistent approach and took into consideration the information available.
PCNs have not been in commerce in Canada for over 20 years. In addition, no comments were received following the publication of the Risk Management Scope which proposed the ban on the manufacture, use, import, sale or offer for sale of PCNs and products containing them, as outlined in the document. Furthermore, PCNs have been added to the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Protocol under the United Nations Environmental Cooperation for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). Once parties ratify the amendment adding PCNs to the POPs Protocol they will be required to eliminate all production and use of these substances. The proposed restrictions on PCNs are first needed before Canada can consider its ratification of these substances.
For those reasons as well as to achieve the risk management objective and to work towards achieving the environmental objective, we are proposing to publish restrictions on the manufacture, use, import, sale or offer for sale of PCNs and products containing PCNs in the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations.
If required, the Government of Canada may also take further action on possible management options for the sources of unintentional releases based on a study currently underway to better characterize the unintentional production of PCNs. Consideration will also be given to any comments received from stakeholders during the consultation period.
In addition, because PCNs meet the criteria of persistence and bioaccumulation and are present in the environment primarily as a result of human activity, the Ministers will consider adding PCNs to the Virtual Elimination List.
9.1.1 Unintentional Production of Polychlorinated Napthalenes
Information from stakeholders is solicited regarding unintentional production of PCNs. The continuing unintentional production of PCNs has been linked to metal refining, waste incineration, wood combustion and landfills.
Refining of Metals
Metal refinements involving chlorine can potentially produce PCNs, however, there is no available data that quantifies or estimates domestic emissions of PCNs from these sources. It remains to be determined if releases of PCNs from this sector is a priority for action. A technical study currently underway will help to characterize unintentional production of PCNs in this sector.
A Technical Document for Batch Waste Incineration has been developed. This technical document is designed to provide guidance for owners and operators of batch waste incinerators regarding proper system selection, operation, maintenance and record keeping, with the goal of assisting them in achieving the intent of the Canada-Wide Standards for dioxins and furans as well as mercury, and reducing releases of other toxic substances. In addition, studies are currently underway to determine if PCNs behave in a similar manner as dioxins and furans during thermal waste treatment and to better understand and characterize the sources of unintentional production of PCNs during waste incineration.
Very little information is available on the production of PCNs from wood combustion. However, domestic burning of coal and wood in the U.K. was estimated to emit 2 kg of chlorinated naphthalenes per year, including a wide range of tri- through octa-chlorinated naphthalenes. Mono- and di- chlorinated naphthalenes were not monitored as part of the study (Lee et al. 2005). In comparison, emissions of chlorinated naphthalenes from the incineration of PCBs were estimated to produce 300 kg of chlorinated naphthalene emissions in the U.K. each year (Lee et al. 2005). This sector is included in the technical study currently underway on unintentional releases of chlorinated naphthalenes.
Landfills & Past Uses
Monitoring for PCNs in landfills was conducted in 2009 and 2010 as part of the monitoring and surveillance strategy for all substances under the Chemicals Management Plan. PCNs were detected in some landfill gas samples and in all landfill leachate samples, prior to and following treatment (Environment Canada 2010). The Government of Canada is also developing a risk management strategy for the waste sector (i.e., landfills, incinerators and recycling facilities) that will include PCNs and other toxic substances at end-of-life.
9.2 Implementation Plan
The proposed instrument(s) would be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, no later than 2 years following the publication of the final SAR, as per the timelines legislated in CEPA 1999.
The addition of PCNs to the Virtual Elimination List and the development of a level of quantification for polychlorinated naphthalenes will be considered.
Monitoring for presence of PCNs in the environment is occurring under a comprehensive monitoring and surveillance strategy for all substances under the Chemicals Management Plan. Monitoring has been identified as a key pillar in the Chemicals Management Plan, and serves the following functions: to collect and generate environmental data to inform decision-making, to provide an adaptive management framework to support intervention and to measure the efficacy of preventive and mitigation actions. Testing of industrial discharge to the environment or to wastewater sewer from facilities generating PCNs could be conducted by industry to determine if measurable quantities of PCNs are present. In addition, leachate could be analyzed to confirm that PCNs are not being released from landfills. The analysis and monitoring would be used to determine whether further action needs to be taken with respect to PCNs.
10. Consultation Approach
The Risk Management Scope for Chlorinated Napthalenes, which summarized the proposed risk management under consideration at that time, was published on July 18, 2009.
Industry and other interested stakeholders were invited to submit comments on the risk management scope during a 60-day comment period. Comments received on the risk management scope document were taken into consideration in the development of this proposed risk management approach document.
Stakeholders are invited to provide their comments on this proposed Risk Management Approach in regards to the unintentional production and release of PCNs, during a period of 60 days following publication.
The primary stakeholders identified include:
- Chlor-alkali Sector
- Magnesium Production
- Refining of Metals
- Waste incineration
- Landfill and Past Uses
- Pulp and Paper
- Environmental non-governmental organizations
11. Next Steps / Proposed Timeline
|Publication of proposed RM Approach||July 2, 2011|
|60 day comment period on proposed Risk Management Approach||July 2, 2011 to August 31, 2011|
|Publication of response to comments on proposed Risk Management Approach||Fall 2011|
Industry and other interested stakeholders are invited to submit comments on the content of this proposed risk management approach, in regards to the unintentional release of PCNs, prior to August 31, 2011. Pursuant to section 313 of CEPA 1999, any person who provides information to the Minister under CEPA 1999 may submit with the information a request that it be treated as confidential. Comments and information submissions on the proposed risk management approach should be submitted to the address provided below:
Email address: GR-RM@ec.gc.ca
Fax number: (819) 994-0007
Chemicals Management Division
Fontaine Building, 2nd floor
200 Sacré Coeur Blvd.
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