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Canada SNACs on Carbon Nanotubes

The Canadian Department of the Environment has issued a Significant New Activity (SNAC) notice for mutli-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) due to concerns about its toxicity. Those intending to do an activity described by the notice must provide required information to the authorities at least 90 days before starting it.

The notice only applies to MWCNTs with the following characteristics: ‘[that] at least 90% of the substance is composed of elemental carbon; [that] the nanotubes measure from 0.09 to 10 micrometres in length, with a 1.1 micrometre average; and [that] the diameter of the nanotubes measure from 5 to 25 nanometres, with a 12 nanometre average’.

A significant new activity undertaken with MWCNTs is defined as being:

  1. ‘Its manufacture or import in a quantity greater than 100kg per calendar year when it is to be used:
    • In consumer products […], excluding solid plastic products
    • In products intended for use by or for children from 0 to 6 years old
  2. In all other cases, its manufacture or import in a quantity greater than 10,000 kg per calendar year’

There are two exceptions to the rule. The first is that MWCNTs made or imported for use in research and development is not considered a significant new use. The second is that the ‘manufacture or import of the substance to be used to manufacture an export-only product is not a significant new activity when the manufacturing process of the product results in releases of the substance to the aquatic environment in a quantity not exceeding 1kg per day per site after wastewater treatment’.


Follow this link to read the full ruling.

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