On Jan. 4, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft risk assessments on five chemical uses from the list of 83 chemical uses up for review under the existing chemicals program. The five chemical uses are: 1) methylene chloride or dichloromethane (DCM), and 2) n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in paint stripper products; 3) trichloroethylene (TCE) as a degreaser and a spray-on protective coating; 4) antimony trioxide (ATO) as a synergist in halogenated flame retardants; and 5) 1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8,-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyran (HHCB) as a fragrance ingredient in commercial and consumer products.
ACA is focusing on the review of methylene chloride and n-methylpyrrolidone. EPA is accepting public comments from peer reviewers until Feb. 8, 2013, and comments on the risk assessments until March 11, 2013.
ACA is searching for possible peer reviewers, and reviewing the risk assessments to draft comments. If you have any comments or suggestions on possible peer reviewers for these five risk assessments, or any of the remaining chemical uses, please contact ACA. The EPA risk assessments are available at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/workplans.html.
In February 2012, EPA released its Existing Chemicals Program Strategy, which outlines the agency’s basic strategy for managing existing chemicals. EPA is currently planning on using this agenda until legislative reform will strengthen EPA’s chemical management authority. EPA’s approach is as follows: 1) risk assessment and risk reduction; 2) data collection and screening; and 3) public access to chemical data information. EPA has also released another 18 chemical uses it plans to review through 2014, available via http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/workplanlist.html; the complete list of the 83 chemical uses is available at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/Work_Plan_Chemicals_Web_Final.pdf.
The Existing Chemicals Program Strategy available at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/Existing_Chemicals_Strategy_Web.2-23-12.pdf.
ACA will continue to monitor action on the EPA work plan, and will work to keep its members updated as new risk assessments are released.