August 29, 2019

EPA Materials Discuss "High-Priority" Chemicals, Including Formaldehyde

Last week, EPA proposed to designate 20 chemicals as “high-priority” substances for upcoming risk evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The chemicals include seven chlorinated solvents, six phthalates, four flame retardants, formaldehyde, a fragrance additive, and a polymer precursor.

EPA is required to designate existing chemical substances a high- or low-priority by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. The agency is also required to complete the prioritization process and make final designations for the 20 high-priority substances by December 2019. Once the designations are finalized, EPA will begin a three-year risk evaluation process to determine whether the chemicals present an “unreasonable risk” to human health or the environment under the substances’ conditions of use.

EPA has published supporting materials for the 20 proposed high-priority chemical substances. These materials identify the proposed designation for each substance and include instructions for accessing chemical-specific information, analysis, and the basis used by EPA to support the proposed designation for each of the 20 chemical substances. EPA is accepting comments on the proposed designations until Nov. 21. 2019. More information is available in the Federal Register.

According to EPA, risk evaluation for low-priority substances is not warranted at this time. The agency’s proposed low-priority chemical substances include d-gluconic acid, 1-docosanol, 1,2-hexanediol, and 1-octadecanol.