Participating Databases

Canada’s Existing Substances Assessment Repository Go to external website

Type of information that can be found via eChemPortal:

Risk Assessment and Industrial Chemical.

General information:

Canada’s Existing Substances Assessment Repository (CESAR) contains risk and other regulatory assessment reports on existing chemicals which include individual substances, groups or classes of chemicals, or effluents or wastes that are produced or imported in Canada or released into the Canadian environment. Under Canada’s Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), these assessments are aimed at determining whether or not these substances present or may present a risk to the environment and/or human health in a Canadian context. The assessments thus address common environmental and human health endpoints under four main themes: 1) the substance identity 2) the entry, fate and exposure characterization, 3) the effects characterization and 4) the risk characterization. A weight-of-evidence approach and precaution are applied throughout the assessment process. The risk assessment program under CEPA is conducted in collaboration by both Environment Canada and Health Canada. Assessments found within this repository are generally from two major initiatives from Canada: the Chemicals Management Plan, including the Challenge, as well as the Priority Substances List (PSL) Assessment Program. For more details about these two initiatives, please visit: Go to external website.

The risk and other regulatory assessments of existing chemicals in CESAR are useful to a diversity of audiences, including hazard assessors (in governments, industry or health organisations), educators, health and medical professionals, and the general public.

Hazard information:

The complexity and the depth of assessments can vary depending on the specific type of assessment. The repository includes PSL Assessments, which are usually more comprehensive, screening assessments such as those currently conducted under the Chemicals Management Plan, and other regulatory assessments.

The assessments in CESAR present information which may include:
- Substance identity
- Physical chemical properties,
- Use patterns and sources,
- Releases to the environment,
- Environmental fate,
- Persistence and bioaccumulation potential,
- Human health exposure characterization,
- Quantification of potential adverse effects on human health and/or non human organisms resulting from exposure to various concentrations, doses or intake rates of a substance through the exposure pathways identified in the exposure assessment,
- Risk characterization,
- Uncertainties,
- References.

Search capabilities:

No queries are possible on this site with the exception of a string search within the website. Alternatively, the repository identifies the name of the substance or group of substances and/or the Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Number. Each assessment is available for download as a PDF file.


Canada’s contribution to the eChemPortal is maintained by Environment Canada in collaboration with Health Canada.

Peer review:

The assessment reports contained within the repository are peer-reviewed by the governmental authorities and/or independent Canadian or international experts. Details of the peer-review process can be found in the introduction of each report. Additionally, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the assessment reports are subject to a mandatory 60-day public comment period in which the assessments are published on the Departmental websites permitting comments from the public, stakeholders and concerned groups on the scientific findings.

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