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EPA Designates 20 Chemicals as Low Priority

Thursday, August 22, 2019

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed to add 20 substances as low priority under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The proposal is the second step in prioritization—a new process for reviewing chemical substances under the amended TSCA.

Some TSCA Background

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 recently proposed to add 20 substances as low priority under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Chemicals are 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 of this year, 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 drawn backlash from public health advocates.

© iStock.com / Antoine2K

To support the proposed priority designation, the EPA considered reasonably available information for each chemical substance under its conditions of use against the criteria specified in TSCA section 6(b)(1)(A), the organization notes.

In June, the EPA held a meeting to discuss Pigment Violet 29 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.

Recent Low Priorities

To support the proposed priority designation, the EPA considered reasonably available information for each chemical substance under its conditions of use against the criteria specified in TSCA section 6(b)(1)(A), the organization notes.

Again, a final designation of “low priority” means that a risk evaluation is not warranted at this time.

The 20 substances designated low priority are:

  • 1-Butanol, 3-methoxy-, 1-acetate;
  • D-gluco-Heptonic acid, sodium salt (1:1), (2.xi.)-;
  • D-Gluconic acid;
  • D-Gluconic acid, calcium salt (2:1);
  • D-Gluconic acid, .delta.-lactone;
  • D-Gluconic acid, potassium salt (1:1);
  • D-Gluconic acid, sodium salt (1:1);
  • Decanedioic acid, 1,10-dibutyl ester;
  • 1-Docosanol;
  • 1-Eicosanol;
  • 1,2-Hexanediol;
  • 1-Octadecanol;
  • Propanol, [2-(2-butoxymethylethoxy)methylethoxy]-;
  • Propanedioic acid, 1,3-diethyl ester;
  • Propanedioic acid, 1,3-dimethyl ester;
  • Propanol, 1(or 2)-(2-methoxymethylethoxy)-, acetate;
  • Propanol, [(1-methyl-1,2-ethanediyl)bis(oxy)]bis-;
  • 2-Propanol, 1,1'-oxybis-;
  • Propanol, oxybis-; and
  • Tetracosane, 2,6,10,15,19,23-hexamethyl-.

For a data sheet on each chemical, click here.

   

Tagged categories: Coating Materials; Construction chemicals; EPA; EPA; Government; Health and safety; NA; North America; Regulations; Safety

Comment from Andrew Piedl, (8/22/2019, 11:42 AM)

Great - only 84,980 more chemicals to go!


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