Welcome to the Categorization Results from the Canadian Domestic Substance List.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) is one of the primary tools used to prevent and reduce threats posed to Canadians and the Canadian environment by substances used or released in Canada. More than 23,000 chemical substances were in use in Canada between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1986, when the original CEPA was being created. The law calls these "existing substances," and they are registered on the Domestic Substances List (DSL).

Under CEPA the Government of Canada was required to sort through or "categorize" all of these 23,000 existing chemical substances by 2006. Using information from Canadian industry, academic research and other countries, Government of Canada scientists worked with partners in applying a set of rigorous tools to the 23,000 chemical substances on the DSL. They were categorized to identify those that were:

  • inherently toxic to humans or to the environment and that might be:
    • persistent (take a very long time to break down), and/or
    • bioaccumulative (collect in living organisms and end up in the food chain)
  • substances to which people might have greatest potential for exposure.
  • Additionally, substances considered a priority for assessment based on other health concerns were considered as part of this prioritization exercise.

This database contains the categorization results for substances on the Canadian Domestic substance list. Please note that information contained in this database was last updated in 2006 and some data may no longer be valid. Categorization is a first step to finding out which of these chemical substances require further attention in the form of assessment, research and/or measures to control their use or release.

For more information please see: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/chemical-substances/canada-approach-chemicals/categorization-chemical-substances.html.