The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to designate 20 new common chemicals for consideration and extensive review.
The move is part of the EPA effort working to meet another statutory requirement under the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The proposals mean a risk evaluation will be conducted as the chemicals are deemed ‘High-Priority Substances.’ The proposed designation is a required step in a new process of reviewing chemical substances currently in commerce under the amended TSCA.
The 20 proposed high-priority candidate chemicals include seven chlorinated solvents, six phthalates, four flame retardants, formaldehyde, a fragrance additive, and a polymer precursor.
Public feedback on the proposal is being sought.
EPA is issuing designation documents (found here) for each chemical substance describing the chemical-specific information, analysis and basis EPA used to support the proposed designation. The most recent 20 proposed chemicals are the same the agency identified in March as potential High-Priority Substances. The agency is asking stakeholders and the public to submit comments by November 21, 2019.
“By proposing to prioritize 20 chemicals for risk evaluation, EPA is realizing another one of the key requirements of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act,” Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dapolito Dunn said in a news release. “Taking public comment will help advance our understanding about how these chemicals are used in commerce and brings EPA one step closer to completing the prioritization process.”
In early August, the EPA unveiled a new Chemical Review Program tracker, which more efficiently review new chemicals submissions by proactively providing status updates to submitters.
EPA is required to complete the prioritization process and make final designations for 20 High-Priority Substances by December 2019. Finalizing these designations will begin the three-year risk evaluation process to determine if they present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment under the conditions of use. If the agency determines any substance presents an unreasonable risk, it is required under TSCA to undertake risk mitigation – a regulatory action.
Last week, EPA designated another 20 chemicals as Low-Priority Substances as part of the prioritization process. A low-priority designation, when final, means these substances do not require risk evaluation at this time in EPA’s determination.