September 8, 2022

EPA Revises Risk Determination for Pigment Violet 29

A revised risk determination finalized by EPA on Tuesday finds that pigment violet 29 (PV29) presents an “unreasonable risk of injury to human health,” particularly when it comes to long-term inhalation exposure to the chemical substance. According to EPA, PV29 is used as an intermediate to create or adjust color of other perylene pigments. Additional applications include incorporation into paints and coatings used in the automobile industry as well as into plastic and rubber products used in automobiles and industrial carpeting. PV29 is also used in merchant ink for commercial printing and in consumer watercolors.

Long-term exposure to PV29 in air can cause lung toxicity effects such as alveolar hyperplasia, EPA notes. The agency describes alveolar hyperplasia as “an adverse increase in the number of cells in the lungs where oxygen transfer occurs.” The risks to workers and others during the manufacture, processing, use, and disposal of PV29 as well as the severity of the health effects associated with long-term exposure to the chemical led EPA to issue a “whole chemical determination” for PV29 rather than making separate risk determinations for individual conditions of use.

The revised risk determination differs from previous risk evaluations of PV29 in that it does not assume that all workers exposed to the chemical substance always or properly wear personal protective equipment. This “reflects EPA’s recognition that unreasonable risk may exist for subpopulations of workers that may be highly exposed” for a number of potential reasons, the agency explains in a press release. For example, some workers may have increased exposure if they are not covered by OSHA standards or if OSHA has not issued a permissible exposure limit for a chemical substance, which is the case for PV29.

EPA intends to develop a risk management rule for PV29 to protect workers who handle the chemical while on the job.

“[EPA] will strive for consistency with existing OSHA requirements or best industry practices when those measures would address the identified unreasonable risk,” the agency explains. “EPA will propose occupational safety measures in the risk management process that would meet [the Toxic Substances Control Act’s] statutory requirement to eliminate unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment.”

For more information, see EPA’s press release and its risk evaluation webpage for PV29.