Chemical Abstract Services (CAS)
What's Your Name?
17 May 2019
There have been a lot of questions lately about the Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) nomenclature and what to submit to the New Substances Program of Environment and Climate Change Canada. This blog is intended to clarify certain misconceptions.
CAS Registry Name Versus Synonyms:
In order to understand the CAS naming issue, you need to first understand that a CAS Registry Number, also referred to as CASRN or CAS Number, is a unique numerical identifier assigned by CAS to every chemical substance described in the open scientific literature or put forward through a CAS Inventory Expert Service (IES) request. The registry maintained by CAS is an authoritative collection of disclosed chemical substance information; it currently identifies more than 144 million unique organic and inorganic substances and 67 million protein and DNA sequences, plus additional information about each substance.
The CAS Index Name is established using CAS naming conventions, which can be found at: https://www.cas.org/sites/default/files/documents/indexguideapp.pdf; however, this is only one of the names for the substance that is recognized by CAS.
Synonyms are "other names" associated with the substance that can arise from a broad range of sources and for many different reasons. Synonyms include alternative chemical names of the substance which are grouped by CAS under the same Registry Number in order to avoid assignment of a different Index Name to the same substance.
What name should I use?
This is the question du jour. There are no right or wrong answers here. You should use whichever name you associate with the substance you produce or import as long as it the name is recognized by CAS as uniquely describing a substance in their Index and uses the correct CAS Registry Number (if one has been registered to that substance).
Do you have questions about this topic, the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), or a related topic? Contact our experts at Intertek. We're here to help!