Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has reversed the country’s ban on octhilinone (OIT), a preservative commonly used in paint and coatings.
The substance had been prohibited for use in these products since May 2019, after the agency concluded that it presented unacceptable airborne exposures when used as a material preservative in coatings.
The ban had been a sticking point in discussionsaround the lack of alignment between Canada and the US on regulatory decision making.
The American Coatings Association (ACA) and the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA) criticised the PMRA for banning the substance even though it faced no such action in the US, where in 2018 the EPA even added the preservative to its Safer Chemical Ingredients List (Scil).
With 45% of paint products sold in Canada manufactured in the US, “one can see the importance of alignment for anything that is used in product formulations,” said Gary LeRoux, the CPCA’s president and CEO. “The restoration [of OIT in Canada] will be huge.”
The US EPA is currently re-evaluating risk for several biocides used as product preservatives in the coatings industry, including OIT. But Chemical Watch understands the PMRA reached its decision based on new data, independently of the work that is ongoing in the US.
“CPCA argued strenuously that further data be reviewed before the previous ban was issued and we are pleased that it was done, confirming the importance of evidence-based data for informed decision making,” said Mr LeRoux.
The ACA and CPCA say they are still pushing for greater alignment on biocides decisions between their two countries.
The trade bodies have urged the US-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to provide a forum for stakeholders, including industry and NGOs, to address and prioritise biocides issues and the regulatory barriers they aim to break down.
Meanwhile, the CPCA and PMRA are expected to announce a new Coatings and Adhesives Working Group in the coming weeks. The group has been in the making for several months and will be set up to address ongoing concerns with re-evaluations and to do more work on alignment with the US.