EPA Proposes New TDI Limits


Certain chemicals used in coatings and sealants could face restricted levels in consumer products under a newly proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Toluene diisocyanates (TDI) are the focus of the EPA's "Toluene Diisocyanates (TDI) and Related Compounds; Significant New Use Rule," which the agency says will protect consumers from "new uses and imports of the harmful chemicals."

TDIs are widely used in the production of polyurethanes and consumer products, including coatings, elastomers, adhesives and sealants.

The chemicals can also be found in products used in and around homes and schools, according to the EPA.

Evaluating Chemical Use

The EPA says that diisocyanates are well known dermal and inhalation sensitizers in the workplace and cause cause asthma, lung damage and, in severe cases, death.

EPA's proposed action, a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act, would require manufacturers, including importers, to notify the EPA at least 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals in consumer products at levels above 0.1 percent by weight.

The EPA would then evaluate the intended use of the chemicals, and possibly take action to prohibit or limit the activity.

The new rule is proposed for 2,4-toluene diisocyanate; 2,6-toluene diisocyanate; and TDI unspecified isomers.

According to the EPA, TDIs and related compounds are generally "high production volume chemicals," meaning the U.S. produces or imports over 100 million pounds or more each year.

Public comments are being accepted for 60 days. The public comment docket can be accessed here.


Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Coating Materials; Coatings manufacturers; Construction chemicals; EPA; Health and safety; Isocyanate; North America; Regulations

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