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About Health Canada

Bureau of Chemical Safety

The Bureau of Chemical Safety is responsible for policy, standard setting, risk assessment, research and evaluation activities with respect to chemicals in foods in Canada.

The primary objective of the work is to ensure that chemicals are not present in foods at levels that would pose an unacceptable risk to health. Chemicals include:

The Bureau also reviews any proposed new uses of food irradiation:

Divisions

The Bureau is comprised of the following three divisions:

See also:

Contact Us for more information.

Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division

The Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division of the Bureau of Chemical Safety is responsible for establishing regulatory and non-regulatory measures, as required, to ensure the chemical safety of the food supply in Canada.

The major activities of the Division include the evaluation of submissions on food additives, flavouring agents, food packaging materials, incidental additives, the food irradiation process, etc, as part of pre-market evaluation programs. The Division also conducts health risk assessments and safety evaluations of chemical contaminants and natural toxicants in foods. These activities are conducted in collaboration with the Food Research Division and the Toxicology Research Division of the Bureau as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and other Departments and Agencies as deemed necessary.

For information on the chemical safety of the food supply in Canada, see:

Contact us for more information.

Toxicology Research Division

The Divisions uses toxicology research methods to identify and characterize food-based human health hazards.

The Toxicology Research Division is responsible for the identification and investigation of potential health hazards associated with chemical contaminants, including those of environmental origin, agricultural chemicals, natural food toxicants and constituents, and food additives. Research is carried out on the:

  • carcinogenic,
  • mutagenic,
  • reproductive,
  • neurotoxic, and
  • other potentially harmful effects of these chemicals, including alterations to the immune system.

The Toxicology Research Division includes research scientists, biologists and technicians.

See also:

Contact the Toxicology Research Division.

Food Research Division

The Food Research Division of the Bureau of Chemical Safety engages in a range of research activities related to the identification, determination, distribution, and sources of, and of the effects of processing on, potentially hazardous chemicals in the food supply.

Major activities of the Division are the development of methods of analysis for such chemicals, the conduct of surveys to determine the levels and extent of contamination of food; as well as National Surveys to determine human exposure to these chemicals. The main National Surveys include the Total Diet Study, and the Human Breast Milk Survey.

The Division program is conducted in close collaboration with the Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division, Health Products and Food Branch Regional Food Laboratories, the Toxicology Research Division, as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

See also:

Contact us for more information.