On March 14, 2020, the Government of Canada published a draft chemical screening assessment for a group of seven paraben substances, four of which were found to be present a danger to human health or the environment at current levels of exposure. The seven parabens assessed include: propylparaben (CAS 94-13-3), benzylparaben (CAS 94-18-8), butylparaben (CAS 94-26-8), methylparaben (CAS 99-76-3), ethylparaben (CAS 120-47-8), iso-propylparaben (CAS 4191-73-5), and iso-butylparaben (CAS 4247-02-3). Propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, and iso-propylparaben are included in the FACET database of food contact chemicals.

Of the seven substances assessed, it was concluded that methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and iso-butylparaben meet the criteria to potentially constitute a danger to human life or health. Notice was therefore officially given to add the substances to the toxic substances list of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. A document outlining the proposed risk management has been published, however, it focuses on cosmetics, non-prescription drugs, and natural health products. It does not specifically reference packaging materials. The screening assessment findings are open for a 60-day public comment period ending on May 13, 2020.

The government also published documentation on approaches for addressing data needs in risk assessment and on the use of analogues and read-across in risk assessment.

Read more

Government of Canada (March 14, 2020). “Draft screening assessment – Parabens group.”

Government of Canada (March 14, 2020). “Risk management scope for Parabens group.”

Andrew Turley (March 19, 2020). “Canada provisionally finds risk for 12 substances.” Chemical Watch