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EPA to Hold Committee Meeting on Chemicals

Monday, May 13, 2019

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that it will be holding the first meeting of its Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

This first meeting will be to discuss Pigment Violet 29, the first chemical of the initial 10 chemicals going under review.

What’s All This About

In 2016 the TSCA got its first upgrade in 40 years as part of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which now requires the EPA to test all of the chemicals that had gotten through the previously weak TSCA (about 85,000 untested chemicals) with a target of about 2,000 a year.

© iStock / Skyhobo

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that it will be holding the first meeting of its Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

First, chemicals will be sorted into “high” and “low” priority categories. No further action is taken with chemicals considered to be “low priority,” but “high priority” chemicals then move on to a risk evaluation.

The risk evaluation first looks at all possible uses of a chemical (everything from how it’s manufactured to how it’s used and how it’s disposed of). Then, it will look at how many possible ways it can come into contact with people and the impact it will have. After its possible exposure is totaled, the EPA will then look at the impact it will have on society’s most vulnerable, such as children, industry workers or the environment. This step has to be concluded within three years. If the EPA thinks it needs more time for analysis, it can extend the process one additional year.

After the evaluation is complete, the EPA decides whether or not to regulate the chemical. If the chemical is deemed unsafe, the EPA then has two years to specify restrictions. This timeframe can also extend an additional year.

In December 2016 the EPA designated the first 10 substances up for evaluation, which included:

  • 1, 4 Dioxane;
  • Methylene Chloride;
  • 1-Bromopropane;
  • N-Methylpyrolidone;
  • Asbestos;
  • Pigment Violet 29;
  • Carbon Tetrachloride;
  • Trichloroethylene;
  • Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD); and
  • Tetrachloroethylene.

In March, the EPA issued a final rule to prohibit the manufacture and importing, processing and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use.

However, sales to contractors and other professionals are still available, which has draw backlash from public health advocates.

What Now

Now, the focus has turned to PV29, which will undergo review during the June 18-21 meeting.

PV29 is described in the Chemical Data Reporting database as:

“Approximately 90% of the domestic production volume of C.I. Pigment Violet 29 in 2015 (approximately 530,000 lbs.) was processed as a site-limited intermediate for the manufacture of other perylene pigments, while 10% of the production volume (approximately 60,000 lbs.) was processed and used in either commercial paints and coatings (approximately 30,000 lbs.) or commercial plastic and rubber products (approximately 30,000 lbs.). An unknown volume of C.I. Pigment Violet 29 is used in consumer watercolor and acrylic paints.”

“This will be an important opportunity for the science experts on this new committee to provide their scientific and technical advice to EPA,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn.

“This peer review ensures scientific rigor and enhances transparency of the risk evaluation process.”

The purpose of this meeting is for the EPA to get the independent review of the science underlying the PV29 risk assessment, including the hazard assessment, assessment of dose-response, exposure assessment and risk characterization, according to the meeting announcement.

Additionally, this meeting will include an orientation on TSCA and how EPA is evaluating chemicals in commerce as prescribed in the Lautenberg Act. The EPA will use the advice, information and recommendations from the SACC, as well as public comments (which are due May 17), to inform the final risk evaluation.

   

Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; EPA; EPA; Government; Health & Safety; NA; North America; Regulations

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