EPA is on track to complete risk evaluations for the first 10 chemicals it identified for evaluation under recently amended Toxic Substances Control Act legislation, according to a new report (PDF). The agency is currently working on risk evaluations for 1,4-dioxane, 1-bromopropane, asbestos, carbon tetrachloride, cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster, methylene chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone, pigment violet 29, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene. As amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law in June 2016, TSCA requires EPA to complete these risk evaluations within three years, or by December 2019. TSCA allows for a single six-month extension of this deadline. EPA must determine whether the chemicals present an “unreasonable risk” to humans and the environment. If a chemical is determined to present such a risk, the agency must mitigate that risk within two years.
EPA previously released a scoping document for each chemical on the list. These documents include the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations the agency plans to consider for each evaluation.
EPA’s 2018 annual plan for chemical risk evaluations under TSCA also states that the agency expects to initiate risk prioritization for 40 chemicals—20 high-priority substances for risk evaluation and 20 low-priority substances for which risk evaluations are not warranted at the time—by the end of 2018.
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.