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  • Press Release

GSC Welcomes Canada’s Use of a Risk-Based Assessment of Key Silicone Materials

Regulators impose no restrictions on L2, L4, L5, and D3

Karluss Thomas

WASHINGTON (January 9, 2024) – The Global Silicones Council (GSC) today welcomed Canada’s final risk assessment of a range of silicone materials – L2, L4, L5, and D31 — which reflects the conclusion of the Canadian Ministers of Environment and Health that these substances are not entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that pose a danger to the environment or a risk to human health in Canada. As such, Canada has not proposed any regulatory restrictions on the use of these materials under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. 

Canada’s evaluation of L2, L4, L5 and D3 is consistent with Canadian regulators’ previous evaluation of other silicone materials, including D4, D5, D62 , and L3. After a full review of all the relevant science, Canada also did not impose any use restrictions or concentration-based restrictions on D4, D5, D6, or L3 for any product in Canada.

“Canada’s risk-based approach has once again confirmed the safety of silicone materials for human health and the environment,” said Karluss Thomas, Executive Director of the Global Silicones Council. “The determination for L2, L4, L5, and D3, combined with Australia’s and Canada’s previous assessments of D4, D5, D6, and L3, makes it clear these substances should remain in commerce and continue to enable products that contribute to reduced carbon emissions and greater efficiency.” 

“We continue to urge regulators around the world to endorse and follow Canada’s approach to assessing silicones substances. These silicone materials have unique properties, which is why it is critical for any regulatory determinations to be based on real-world exposure and all available relevant scientific data. We applaud Canada for demonstrating that regulators can simultaneously ensure chemical safety and promote product innovation that drives environmental sustainability.”

In Canada, L2, L4, L5, and D3 are primarily used in a wide range of products such as cosmetics, electronics, medical devices, adhesives and sealants, as well as in industrial applications such as paints and coatings. Canadian authorities characterized the ecological and health risks of these materials using a risk-based approach, based on weighted consideration of multiple lines of evidence for determining the risk classification. None of the materials met any of the criteria pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and therefore, no further regulatory action is required. 

These silicone substances are critical building blocks used to produce a broad range of silicone polymers which provide unique product performance characteristics that engender innovation in thousands of products that benefit key segments of the global economy, including: transportation, building and construction, health care, renewable energy technologies, and electronics. In these sectors, there are few, if any, satisfactory substitutes to silicone polymers.

To learn more visit http://globalsilicones.org/.

1 L2  Hexamethyldisiloxane, L4  Decamethyltetrasiloxane, L5  Dodecamethylpentasiloxane, D3  Cyclotrisiloxane

D4  octamethyltetracyclosiloxane, D5  decamethylpentascylosiloxane, D6  dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane

Global Silicones Council

The Global Silicones Council (GSC) is a not-for-profit, international organization representing companies that produce and sell silicone products around the world. The GSC brings together all the major global manufactures via the three Regional Silicone Industry Associations in North America (Silicones Environmental, Health, and Safety Center – SEHSC), Europe (Silicones Europe – CES), and Japan (Silicones Industry Association of Japan – SIAJ) and encourages their cooperation and collaboration.

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