Canada Permits Use of Toxic Chemical

The Canadian government decreed this month that it will permit 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)- compound with (Z)-N-9-octadecenyl-1,3-propanediamine to be used as an ingredient in engine oils and transmission fluids even though it suspects the substance to be toxic.

The government took the action by designating the chemical for ministerial conditions, a decision announced Feb. 1 in the governments official newspaper, the Canada Gazette. The decree, developed by the nations Environment and Health ministries, states that 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)- compound with (Z)-N-9-octadecenyl-1,3-propanediamine is a new chemical and that regulators believe it is toxic or capable of becoming toxic.

The designation, which was backdated to Jan. 22, permits the chemical to be manufactured or imported only for use in automotive engine oils and transmission fluids. It also allows importation of engine oils and transmission fluids that contain the chemical.

The decree requires companies handling the chemical or products that contain it to maintain records documenting its use and the volumes the chemical.

The chemical is an oleic acid, a family of chemicals that includes esters used in lubricants.