EPA to Begin Testing Chemicals Under TSCA Legislation

Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) USEPA Photo by Eric Vance.
Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)
USEPA Photo by Eric Vance.

The EPA announced the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform, two of which can used to manufacture crop protection products. Carbon tetrachloride and methylene chloride will be among the first chemical investigated.

“Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace.” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”

TSCA as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, required EPA to publish this list by December 19, 2016. These chemicals were drawn from EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan, a list of 90 chemicals selected based on their potential for high hazard and exposure as well as other considerations.

When the list is published in the Federal Register it will trigger a statutory deadline to complete risk evaluations for these chemicals within three years.  This evaluation will determine whether the chemicals present an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment. If it is determined that a chemical presents an unreasonable risk, EPA must mitigate that risk within two years.

Under the newly amended law, EPA must 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.

Additional chemicals will be designated for evaluation, and all of the remaining Work Plan chemicals will be reviewed for their potential hazard and exposure. For each risk evaluation that EPA completes, TSCA requires that EPA begin another. By the end of 2019, EPA must have at least 20 chemical risk valuations ongoing at any given time.

The other eight chemicals are:

1,4-Dioxane
1-Bromopropane
Asbestos
Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster
N-methylpyrrolidone
Pigment Violet 29
Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene
Trichloroethylene

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