Asbestos, TCE among First Chemicals EPA Will Review Under New TSCA Legislation

Published November 30, 2016

Yesterday EPA named the first 10 chemicals the agency will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) legislation. The list includes 1,4-dioxane, 1-bromopropane, asbestos, carbon tetrachloride, cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster, methylene chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone, pigment violet 29, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene (TCE). As amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law in June, TSCA requires EPA to publish this list of chemicals by Dec. 19, 2016. Once the list is published in the Federal Register, EPA will have three years to complete risk evaluations to determine whether the chemicals present an “unreasonable risk” to humans and the environment. If a chemical is determined to present such a risk, EPA must mitigate that risk within two years.

The new legislation also requires EPA to release a scoping document for each chemical within six months. These documents will include the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations the agency plans to consider for each evaluation.

For more information, see EPA’s press release.

Named for the late Senator Lautenberg, a longtime proponent of TSCA reform, the Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act requires EPA to evaluate the safety of existing chemicals in commerce, starting with those most likely to cause risks, and to evaluate new and existing chemicals against a new risk-based safety standard that includes explicit considerations for vulnerable populations. To learn more, visit EPA’s webpage​ on evaluating risk of existing chemicals under TSCA.