Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada have recently published their Draft Screening Assessment Report and Risk Management Scoping Document. These documents have evaluated benzophenone (also called diphenyl methanone) and its potential to harm Canadians and the environment. This is done by a risk-based assessment based on the hazardous properties of benzophenone based on its current exposure. The conclusion of the study has found that at current levels, benzophenone is found to be harmful to human health but not to the environment. Thus, it is proposed to be CEPA-Toxic.

Benzophenone is a synthetic chemical that may also occur naturally in the environment. It is used in a wide range of consumer products such as cosmetics (specifically nail polishes and other nail-care products), paints, adhesives, inks, food flavourings. The substance can be absorbed into the body through inhalation, oral and dermal exposure.

As a result of these findings, Health Canada will consider risk management specific to nail polish products in Canada, including:

  • Designation of an appropriate restriction by a possible addition to the Cosmetics Ingredient Hotlist
  • Designation of a Significant New Activity Notice (SNAc) for new uses/activity in cosmetics This will require information to be submitted for assessment on how any new cosmetics should be managed.
  • Specific risk management details that will be finalized following publication of the Final Screening Assessment, including consultation.
  • A measure to reduce potential benzophenone exposure to Canadians from use of paint and polish products.

The risk management activities would affect those that manufacture or import nail polishes containing benzophenone. It should be noted that this assessment does not apply to other benzophenone derivatives. The Government of Canada is accepting public comments due October 2, 2018.

For more information, please contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading Canadian regulatory and Health Canada consultants for Cosmetics, and other consumer products.