On November 29, 2016, EPA announced the first ten chemicals that will be evaluated for potential risks to human health and the environment following Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) amendments by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. EPA was required to publish this list by December 19, 2016.
What Are the First Ten Chemicals?
- Carbon Tetrachloride
- Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster
- Methylene Chloride
- Pigment Violet 29
- Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene
This list includes three substances with completed Work Plan risk assessments (trichloroethylene, N-methylpyrrolidone, and methylene chloride), and asbestos, which EPA previously attempted to ban in 1989, but the rule was overturned in 1991.
How Are the Chemicals Selected?
These chemicals were selected from EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan, which had a total of 90 chemicals based on potential for high hazard and exposure as well as other considerations such as persistence and bioaccumulation. The first ten chemicals have hazards such as possible to known human carcinogen, aquatic toxicity, and/or toxicity from inhalation exposure (asbestos), and all are used in consumer products.
Additional chemicals will be designated for evaluation, and all of the remaining Work Plan chemicals will be reviewed for their potential hazard and exposure; at least half of the EPA-initiated risk evaluations must be drawn from the TSCA Work Plan until that list has been exhausted. As each risk evaluation is completed, EPA must begin another. By the end of 2019, EPA must have at least 20 chemical risk valuations ongoing at any given time.
What is the Schedule for the Risk Evaluations?
On the date the list is published in the Federal Register, EPA will have three years to complete risk evaluations for these chemicals to determine whether the chemicals present an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment. We can expect EPA to release a scoping document within six months for each chemical. This will include the hazard(s), exposure(s), conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation(s) the agency plans to consider for the evaluation. Companies that manufacture, import, process, and otherwise use these chemicals will need to consider participating in the risk evaluation process when EPA publishes its scoping documents in June 2017. If it is determined that a chemical presents an unreasonable risk, EPA must mitigate that risk within two years.
Two proposed rules preceded this list to establish the processes for identifying high priority chemicals for risk evaluation and conducting risk evaluations. For more on the chemicals listed and additional information: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/evaluating-risk-existing-chemicals-under-tsca
EHS Support will continue to follow and report on the implementation of the new TSCA law. Contact our Compliance Technical Leader Amy Bauer or Service Line Leader Chris Pratt if you have any questions.
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