August 20, 2008


(Washington, DC) – The Council for LAB/LAS Environmental Research (CLER) announced today that they have provided comments to the Canadian government’s Domestic Substance List (DSL) website to correct what we believe to be mischaracterizations of the health and environmental hazards of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS), the most widely used – and studied – household detergent ingredient in the world.

Comments were also provided for linear alkylbenzene (LAB) [the material used to make LAS], LAB sulfonic acid [an intermediate in the production of LAS] and LAB alkylate bottoms [a co-product of LAB manufacture].  The comments were provided jointly by CLER and its member company CEPSA, which operates a LAB manufacturing plant in Canada.

The purpose of the DSL is to prioritize all of the chemicals in commerce in Canada for an assessment of their health (human exposure and mammalian toxicity) and environmental (biodegradation, bioaccumulation and aquatic toxicity) properties.  Although LAS, LAB, sulfonic acids and alkylate bottoms were not considered priorities for further evaluation by the screening assessment conducted by the Canadian government, these assessments nonetheless mischaracterized some of the health and environmental hazards apparently because they were based largely on modeled data.  CLER provided detailed information from research and environmental monitoring studies conducted over many years.  These products have also been the subject of multiple authoritative assessments conducted by national and international authorities such as the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s high production volume assessment (SIDS) program that correct the mischaracterizations.

The government of Canada has acknowledged receipt of the CLER information but the mischaracterizations on the DSL website have not yet been corrected. CLER is providing a link to the database of comments to clarify the data available on these substances and to correct the public record.

CLER is an organization of scientists and technical specialists representing manufacturers of LAB, the material used to produce LAS.