April 23, 2020

EPA Publishes Draft Scope Documents for Formaldehyde, Other "High-Priority" Chemicals

EPA seeks public input on draft scope documents for formaldehyde and other “high-priority” chemicals for upcoming risk evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act. These substances are part of a group of 20 chemicals that EPA designated as high priority for risk evaluation in December 2019. According to the agency, work related to formaldehyde completed under EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program was used to select the chemical as a high priority for risk evaluation. EPA states that work done for IRIS, which identifies and characterizes the health hazards of chemicals found in the environment, will also be used to inform the formaldehyde risk evaluation.

The draft scope documents include the hazards, exposures, proposed conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations EPA expects to consider during each chemical’s risk evaluation. EPA’s scope documents also cover the “science approaches” that the agency plans to use during its evaluations, conceptual models of potential hazards and exposures throughout the chemicals’ lifecycles, and potential plans for peer review. Collecting comments on these scope documents represents the next step in EPA’s three-year risk evaluation process to determine whether these chemicals present an “unreasonable risk” to human health or the environment under the substances’ conditions of use.

Draft scope documents for formaldehyde (PDF), phthalic anhydride (PDF), and five phthalates will be available for review and comment until June 8, 2020. More information on each of the chemicals is available from EPA’s website, and instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register.

Earlier this month, EPA also published draft scope documents for p-dichlorobenzene, 1,2-dichloroethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, o-dichlorobenzene, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, 1,1-dichloroethane, TBBPA, TCEP, TPP, ethylene dibromide, 1,3-butadiene, and HHCB. A previous Federal Register notice explains that comments related to those 13 chemicals are due by May 26, 2020.