DuPont has agreed to pay a $3.3 million federal penalty for failing to report “substantial risk” found during testing of chemicals for use as coatings, sealants and related products.
The consent agreement and penalty will resolve 57 violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by DuPont, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday (Dec. 21).
Research Uncovers ‘Substantial Risk’
TSCA requires companies to inform EPA when they have research demonstrating that a chemical could pose a substantial risk to human health and the environment.
In DuPont’s case, the company should have immediately reported research indicating substantial risk from chemicals for possible use as surface protection, masonry protection, water repellants, sealants and paints, EPA said.
“DuPont failed to comply with the law and notify EPA that it had information on chemicals that could pose a risk to human health and the environment,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is serious about making companies follow our nation’s laws and protecting public health.”
Inhalation Toxicity Studies
The case dates to May 5, 2006, when DuPont notified EPA that the company had failed to submit chemical toxicity studies on rats as required by TSCA Section 8(e). On July 12, 2006, DuPont submitted studies that contained information on chemical toxicity when certain chemicals are inhaled.
EPA determined that 57 of the studies contained information on chemicals that could present a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment and were therefore subject to TSCA Section 8(e).
“Full compliance with TSCA reporting requirements allows EPA to understand and limit, when necessary, potential hazards associated with manufacturing, use, and disposal of chemical substances,” EPA says.
DuPont, the global chemical giant based in Wilmington, DE, released this statement Tuesday:
“During discussions with EPA on a prior enforcement matter, DuPont became aware that EPA disagreed with criteria used by DuPont in assessing reportability under TSCA §8(e) for inhalation studies. EPA’s position is that its guidance on reporting inhalation results applies to all inhalation phases. As a result, DuPont reviewed its files and identified 57 studies, which were §8(e)-reportable. DuPont and EPA have agreed to settle the case. The settlement allows us to put this matter behind us and move forward.”
EPA would not release the list of substances involved in the case, citing business confidentiality.