EPA Accepting Comments on Draft Copper Risk Assessment
October 10, 2016 •
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments on its Registration Review; Draft Ecological and/or Human Health Risk Assessments for copper until Nov. 18, 2016. EPA’s risk assessment focuses mainly on recreational vessels; the agency maintains that registered uses will cause a “direct adverse effect” on aquatic life. Specific to antifouling coatings, EPA states that all antifouling coatings are known or assumed to exceed the agency’s level of concern. As such, it will be important for antifouling coatings formulators to assist EPA in properly characterizing the copper leech rate associated with their products.
EPA’s draft risk assessment does not address organic copper registrations and, therefore, only includes copper sulfate, copper group II, copper salts, complexes, hydroxides, and oxides.
EPA conducts periodic review of pesticide registrations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) “to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment.” As part of the registration review process, the Agency has completed comprehensive draft human health and/or ecological risk assessments for all chemicals listed in the Table of Unit III.
Based on comments EPA received on its 2006 Registration Eligibility Decision (RED) for copper, EPA developed a new exposure model for environmental exposure to antifouling coatings on recreational vessels in saltwater marinas. EPA used the Marine Antifoulant Model to Predict Environmental Concentrations (MAMPEC) in the draft risk assessment rather than the draft biotic ligand model (BLM) because the model is currently out for public comment.
More information, including the draft assessment, may be found here.