Lists of Substances

Part 5 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 focuses on understanding and reducing the risks posed by new and existing substances. It provides for the assessment of these substances, which should be evaluated to determine whether they meet any of the criteria set out in section 64 of the Act. Part 5 also confers the authority to implement, when appropriate, preventive or control measures in regard to the relevant aspects of the substance life cycle. Environment Canada shares with Health Canada the task of conducting risk assessments as well as the management associated with toxic substances.

In order to distinguish new substances from existing ones and to prescribe reporting requirements for new substances, as well as to determine which are or may be subject to risk management provisions, the Act has established or provided for the establishment of substance inventories or lists.

  • Domestic Substances List
    The Domestic Substances List (DSL) is a list of substances that, between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1986 were in Canadian commerce; used for manufacturing purposes; or manufactured in or imported to Canada in a quantity of 100 kg or more in any calendar year. The DSL contains approximately 23 000 substances. It is amended regularly to include additional substances that have been deemed eligible following their assessment under the new substances notification and assessment regime.
  • Export Control List
    Substances whose export is controlled because their use in Canada is prohibited or severely restricted or because Canada has agreed, through an international agreement, to control their export.

  • Non-Domestic Substances List
    An inventory of substances that are not on the Domestic Substances List, but are in commercial use internationally.

  • Priority Substances List
    Substances that require investigation on a priority basis to determine whether they meet any of the criteria set out in section 64 of the Act.

  • List of Toxic Substances
    Substances that meet at least one of the criteria set out in section 64 of the Act, and that were added to Schedule 1 of the Act by the Governor in Council.

  • Virtual Elimination List
    Substances designated for virtual elimination.

  • Waste or other matter that may be disposed of at sea
    Substances that are allowed, by permit, to be disposed of at sea.

Non-Statutory List

Assessments and Toxics Management


National Pollutant Release Inventory
A legislated, nation-wide, publicly accessible inventory of pollutants released, disposed of and recycled by facilities in Canada.

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