17 May 2019

What's Your Name?

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!



Dan Bastien
Associate Director - Chemicals Group
Health, Environmental & Regulatory Services (HERS)

Today's expert blogger is Dan Bastien. Dan is the Associate Director of the Intertek Chemicals Group and is well known for his ability to effectively characterize and communicate the impacts of the regulatory environment on the chemical Industry. Dan is a subject matter expert in Canada with specific experience in the Chemical Management Plan (CMP), which includes Canada's New Substances Notification Program and the Assessment of Existing Substances. He has presented on these topics at numerous conferences around the world, held training sessions for the chemical industry, and co-authored guidance documents and other types of publications in Canada. Prior to joining Intertek, Dan managed, for over 20 years, the Client Services Unit of the New Substances and the evaluation of Existing Substance programs under the CMP. This makes Mr. Bastien uniquely qualified to provide practical, best-in-class service to help meet and understand Global Chemicals Management requirements.