Technical approach for "rapid screening" of substances of lower ecological concern


Canada is a world leader in systematically reviewing its complete list of existing substances and committing to assess those of greatest concern. Recognizing the magnitude of this task and the limited availability of data, the Government of Canada believes that the use of a range of assessment approaches is essential. In this way, the complexity of the various approaches and the use of assessment resources may be appropriately scaled to the expected level of concern for the different substances being evaluated.

The approach for rapid screening of substances anticipated to have a low likelihood of adverse effects is an effective way to identify substances not requiring further assessment. Application of this simplified approach is warranted and necessary, since it accelerates the application of resources to assessment issues that require greater attention.

The rapid screening approach outlined in this document has been applied to substances believed to be used in low quantities in Canada. It should be noted that a modified version of this approach may ultimately be applied to other groups of substances if judged applicable and relevant.

In summary, rapid screening is a stepwise approach that makes use of both qualitative and quantitative information using different models, scenarios and information sources to inform a decision as to whether a substance may likely be of concern and, as such, should be further assessed. It is important to recognize that rapid screening supports allocation of resources to where they are most beneficial, and represents a pragmatic and reasonable approach for dealing with substances believed to be of lower concern.

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