EPA Identifies First 10 Chemicals for Evaluation

When the list is published in the Federal Register, that will trigger a statutory deadline to complete risk evaluations for the chemicals within three years. The evaluation will determine whether the chemicals present an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment.

Methylene chloride and asbestos are among the first 10 chemicals EPA will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under the TSCA reform law, the agency announced Nov. 29. Shortly before, Vermont congressman Peter Welch and colleagues had sent a letter asking the agency to review three classes of flame retardants – the Chlorinated Phosphate Esters cluster, the Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides cluster, and the Tetrabromobisphenol A cluster – that affect firefighters and emergency personnel, and EPA has included one of them on its initial list.

The first 10 chemicals to be evaluated are:

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

The Toxic Substances Control Act, as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, required EPA to publish this list by Dec. 19, 2016. The 10 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, according to the agency.

When the list is published in the Federal Register, that will trigger a statutory deadline to complete risk evaluations for the chemicals within three years. The 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. And the agency must release a scoping document within six months for each chemical that includes the hazard(s), exposure(s), conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation(s) the agency plans to consider for the evaluation.

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