News / Green Products/Applications

EPA Announces Actions to Address Chemicals of Concern

January 4, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

On Dec. 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a series of actions on four chemicals that have raised serious health or environmental concerns, including phthalates. For the first time, EPA intends to establish a “Chemicals of Concern” list and is initiating a process that may lead to regulations requiring significant risk reduction measures to protect human health and the environment. The agency’s actions represent its determination to use its authority under the existing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to the fullest extent possible, recognizing EPA’s strong belief that the 1976 law is both outdated and in need of reform.

In addition to phthalates, the chemicals EPA addresses are short-chain chlorinated paraffins, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOA. These chemicals are used in the manufacture of an array of products and have raised a range of health and environmental concerns.

EPA also recently announced that three U.S. companies agreed to phase out DecaBDE, a widely used fire retardant chemical that may potentially cause cancer and may impact brain function.

On September 29, 2009, Administrator Linda P. Jackson outlined a set of agency principles to help inform legislative reform and announced that EPA would act on a number of widely studied chemicals that may pose threats to human health. When TSCA was passed in 1976, there were 60,000 chemicals on the inventory of existing chemicals. Since that time, EPA has only successfully restricted or banned five existing chemicals and has only required testing on another two hundred existing chemicals. An additional 20,000 chemicals have entered the marketplace for a total of more than 80,000 chemicals on the TSCA inventory.

The actions announced on Dec. 30 include:
  • Adding phthalates and PBDE chemicals to the concern list.
  • Beginning a process that could lead to risk reductions actions under section 6 of TSCA for several phthalates, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, and perfluorinated chemicals.
  • Reinforcing the DecaBDE phaseout - which will take place over three years - with requirements to ensure that any new uses of PBDEs are reviewed by EPA prior to returning to the market.
This is the first time EPA has used TSCA’s authority to list chemicals that “may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment.” Inclusion on the list publicly signals EPA’s strong concern about the risks certain chemicals pose and the agency’s intention to manage those risks. Once listed, chemical companies can provide information to the agency if they want to demonstrate that their chemical does not pose an unreasonable risk.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASI April 2014 Photo Gallery

Our April 2014 issue is now available!

Podcasts

ExxonMobil Tackifier Expansion

Dwight Tozer, vice president of ExxonMobil’s Adhesion Industry business, discusses the company’s latest tackifier expansion project with Editor-in-Chief Susan Sutton.

More Podcasts

Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine

ASI August 2014 cover

2014 August

Our August issue includes what is traditionally our most popular article of the year: the ASI Top 25. You won't want to miss it!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ADHESIVES STORE

handbook-sealant-tech.gif
Handbook of Sealant Technology

The Handbook of Sealant Technology provides an in-depth examination of sealants, reviewing their historical developments and fundamentals, adhesion theories and properties, and today’s wide range of applications.

More Products

ASI 2014 Buyers GuideASI's Buyers' Guide

Annual purchasing resource for equipment used in the manufacture/formulation of adhesives, sealants, pressure sensitives, tapes and labels and for application of finished adhesives. 

Clear Seas Research

With access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40px twitter_40  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40 google+ icon ASI 30px