The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced plans to require companies to report new uses of chemicals known as glymes in consumer products. The EPA’s proposed action is based, in part, on concerns that additional uses of these 14 chemicals in consumer products could lead to harmful reproductive and developmental health effects.

Glymes are chemicals used in an array of applications, including adhesives, printing ink, coatings, household batteries and motor vehicle brake systems. This proposed action is reportedly part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s effort to strengthen the agency’s chemical management program and ensure the safety of chemicals.

“This proposed rule would enable EPA to evaluate the use of these chemicals before Americans are subject to additional exposure to them in numerous consumer products” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We need to take a closer look at the potential health effects that additional exposure to these chemicals could have.”

The proposed regulatory procedure is known as a significant new use rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The SNUR would ensure that, prior to the manufacture, import, or processing of these chemicals for a significant new use, the EPA will have 90 days to evaluate potential risks, and prohibit or limit the activity if warranted.

Comments on the proposal must be received by September 9. The proposal and supporting information can be found in docket number EPA–HQ–OPPT–2009–0767 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal