For all consumer products formulated by manufacturers, they use substances that are available for use in Canada and listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act
(CEPA). Often referred to as “existing substances”, the DSL was required by law to be scrutinized against the most modern science. The results would provide a list of substances that may need further review. It is important to note that everyday substances such as Vitamin A and vinegar are on the list of 4,000 substances that may need further investigation. It has been determined by industry and government scientific studies that products containing substances on the list are safe when used according to product directions.
The Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), announced by the Government of Canada in December 2006, began with the Industry Challenge Program to review 193 highest priority substances. These substances were grouped into 12 “batches” for review, to be completed over five years. The next phase of the CMP was announced October 3, 2011, when the Government of Canada renewed its commitment to Canada’s world-leading Chemicals Management Plan. Approximately 1,000 additional substances will be reviewed in the next five years and the rest by 2020, including through the Substance Groupings Initiative. The third phase of the CMP continued in 2016 and has been a success for all Canadians.
More information on the Chemicals Management Plan, the Industry Challenge and the Substance Groupings Initiative can be found at the Government of Canada website. For additional information on the Chemicals Management Plan, please see the Chemicals Management Plan Progress Reports, which will be published twice a year.
If a manufacturer wishes to use a truly new substance in a consumer product, they are subject to assessment through the New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR) under CEPA. Since 2001, all substances new to Canada that will be used in Food & Drugs Act products are also subject to CEPA’s New Substances Notifications (NSNs).
Cleaning products such as disinfectants are also regulated by the same act. Products that claim to kill germs must meet efficacy requirements and guidelines established by Health Canada, must be reviewed and approved by Health Canada, and must carry a DIN registration number on their label. Those that make sanitizing claims are regulated under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), also administered by Health Canada.
The Consumer Chemicals & Containers Regulations (CCCR 2001) under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act regulates all labelling for these products.
In Canada, all ingredients in consumer products such as soaps and detergents, disinfectants, sanitizers, household cleaning products and pest control products are governed by various pieces of legislation and regulation.