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Canada - Final Regulatory Action
Tetramethyl lead CAS number:
Date circular:

Chemical name: Plumbane, tetramethyl-

Final regulatory action has been taken for the category: Industrial

Final regulatory action: The chemical is Severely Restricted

Use or uses prohibited by the final regulatory action:

All purposes other than those described below must use unleaded gasoline (lead content limited to 5 mg/L).

Use or uses that remain allowed:

The lead content of gasoline for aircraft and high performance competition vehicles is not regulated. Leaded gasoline, which is subject to certain lead content restrictions, is still allowed for the following uses: (a) tractors, combines, swathers or any other machinery used in farming; (b) boats; or (c) trucks whose gross vehicle weight rating is greater than 3 856 kg.

Pesticide use or uses that remain allowed:

The final regulatory action was based on a risk or hazard evaluation: Yes

Summary of the final regulatory action:

The Gasoline Regulations regulate the concentration of phosphorus and lead permitted in leaded and unleaded fuels manufactured in or imported into Canada, and offered for sale or sold. The Regulations apply to gasoline producers and importers. The Regulations set maximum lead concentration limits for leaded gasoline to be used in farm equipment, boats or heavy trucks. The Regulations do not apply to aircraft. Amendments were made in 1994, 1997 and 1998 to exempt high performance competition vehicles. The latest amendment extended the exemption until December 31, 2002.

The reasons for the final regulatory action were relevant to: Human health

Summary of known hazards and risks to human health:

The effects of lead exposure include interference in the proper functioning of the human biochemical system that regulates the synthesis of blood and its use in the body; impairment or perturbation of certain metabolic pathways and enzyme systems that involve essential features of certain basic cellular processes and brain functions; interference with the learning and behavioural development among young children and pre-term delivery and low birth weights of infants.

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to human health:

The emissions of lead particulates to the atmosphere is of particular concern. The largest single source is gasoline lead particulates of small size (less than 1 micrometre in diameter) resulting from the combustion of TEL and TML anti-knock agents. Gasoline lead contributes significantly to the total uptake of lead in urban areas, especially where traffic is heavy.
As a result of the Gasoline Regulations (SOR/90-247), it was expected that there would be a reduction of lead emissions that should significantly decrease lead uptake, and consequently, blood lead levels in Canadians. This would reduce the health effects of lead exposure, especially among young children.

Date of entry into force of the final regulatory action: 26/03/1998