Archive for the ‘TSCA’ Category

Life Cycle Thinking blog is moving.

I will continue to provide commentary about TSCA, REACH, product stewardship, sustainability, environmental marketing claims and more as part of the redesigned EHS Strategies, Inc. website.

Georjean Adams


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EPA has published another batch of 37 Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) on chemicals that had been premanufacture noticed (PMN’d).  Only 17 of them had consent orders.  Isocyanates, siloxanes, nanocarbons predominate.

Make sure you are reviewing these for possible applicability – especially if the use is not “new” to you.

Also make sure your vendors are notifying you if there are restrictions on the use of their products.  TSCA compliance is not only an issue of being listed on the Inventory.


Contact EHS Strategies, Inc. for help.

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More TSCA Declassifications

EPA declassified chemical identities in a few more health and safety studies and made some pretty graphs:  http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/transparency-charts.html

If I’m reading the numbers right, they have declassified about 20% of the 4,025 claims made.  3,242 claims were deemed actually legitimate.  Another 11, 508 studies had made no claims in the first place.  Only 532 of the chemicals were made over 25,000 lb per IUR reporting. Play whatever games you want with the numbers.


Regardless, these numbers don’t indicate massive fraud to me.  Good that EPA tightened up on knee-jerk claims, made without serious thought.  But the “secret toxics” issue has been overblown.

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TSCA CDR Data Released

EPA news item:

“EPA has released the non-confidential Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) information on chemical manufacturing, processing and use in the United States.

The 2012 non-confidential database and search tool are available at www.epa.gov/cdr. Users can download the database or search the database by chemical name, CAS number, or company name to retrieve company and site-specific information about chemicals in commerce and to view information on specific uses of chemicals, such as those used in products intended for children. This website also includes more information about the CDR data results, as well as fact sheets.”

Interesting Fact Sheet on uses and reduction in CBI claims.  “The EPA received reports on 7,674 chemicals, including 354 that were reported as used in children’s products. 1,704 chemicals were reported as used in consumer products and 3,073 were used in commercial applications or products. The remaining chemicals reported were for industrial use only.”  Makes the scary 85,000 chemicals in commerce number that is used by NGOs look a little silly.  Also have to question whether some of the chemicals listed as being in children’s products were misclassified – gases propane and ethane? butane? ethyl benzene? These would be industrial intermediates at most and not used by children.

Make sure your reports are correctly represented.

Contact EHS Strategies, Inc. for help.

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Draft risk assessments have been announced by EPA under their new Work Plan to begin tackling 83 chemicals.  These are open for public comment and will be peer-reviewed.  EPA may or may not take action to restrict uses under TSCA after the assessments are completed.  In the meantime, the press release says:

“EPA recommends the public follow product label directions and take precautions that can reduce exposures, such as using the product outside or in an extremely well ventilated area and wearing protective equipment to reduce exposure.”

– even though the draft risk assessment says there is no concern for ATO and HHCB.

The chemicals are assessed for risks based on consumer products uses:

methylene chloride or dichloromethane (DCM) and n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in paint stripper products – potential concern for human health acute and chronic risks

trichloroethylene (TCE) as a degreaser and a spray-on protective coating – potential concern for human health for  small commercial and hobbyist degreaser users

antimony trioxide (ATO) as a synergist in halogenated flame retardants – low human exposure, low concern for ecological health

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 – negligible human health risks of concern, low concern for ecological health

Read the detailed reports here.


EPA says it will get aggressive in using existing TSCA authorities on the assumption legislative TSCA reform isn’t going to be resolved this Congress.  We’ll keep watching….

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As expected, the direct final rule requiring reporting “health and safety studies” under TSCA 8(d) for anything with cadmium in it was too controversial.  EPA announced Dec. 14, 2012 [Federal Register notice published 12/28/12]:

On December 3, 2012, EPA published an immediate final rule requiring the reporting of existing and unpublished health and safety data for cadmium and cadmium compounds used in consumer products pursuant to section 8(d) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Based on several letters asking questions and raising concerns about the scope and extent of the immediate final rule that indicate that there is significant confusion and uncertainty within certain industrial sectors concerning the rule, EPA has decided to withdraw the immediate final rule and will sign a Federal Register notice announcing this decision no later than the January 2, 2013, effective date of the immediate final. EPA will be considering the questions and concerns raised in response to the immediate final rule and next steps with regard to this rule. EPA will also continue to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to reduce exposure to cadmium in consumer products generally, and especially those consumer products used by or around children, such as children’s metal jewelry.

EPA appears to be trying to push the envelope of their TSCA authorities – which they should – but this was a tad too far for a direct final (no public comment) rule.

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EPA has withdrawn this final rule as of Dec 14, 2012 – too controversial!


EPA today released a final rule  that requires reporting of “health and safety studies” under TSCA section 8(d) for cadmium and its compounds in consumer products.  This is a little broader than the lead rule that focused on children’s products (40 CFR 716.21(a)(8)).

Article Import and Manufacture: The rule applies to manufacturers and importers of cadmium, cadmium compounds or cadmium-containing ARTICLES  that have been, or are reasonably likely to be, incorporated into consumer products if any cadmium has been measured to be present.

consumer product means any product that is sold or made available to consumers for their use in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, in or around a school, or in or around recreational areas.”

Reportable “studies” appear to have been expanded beyond traditional toxicity and exposure studies to include:

– measurement of cadmium content in a consumer product

– discussion of the function of the cadmium and formulation

– migration from the product studies

The preamble implies the above are reportable as stand-alone data.  That’s not the way TSCA 8(d) reads: such data would only e reportable if it were developed as part of an exposure assessment or toxicity study.

As with the standard 8(d) model rule (40 CFR 716), this rule applies to anyone who manufactured or imported cadmium-containing consumer  products in the last 10 years and anyone proposing to do so in the future.

Timing:  The rule is effective 30 days after Federal Register publication unless someone complains, in which case EPA traditionally withdraws the “direct final” rule and publishes a proposed rule for comment.  Expect there to be comment.  Once final, you have 60 days to send in unpublished studies in your possession and 30 days to notify EPA of future studies.

This stems from EPA’s work with CPSC to reduce cadmium exposure.

Contact EHS Strategies, Inc. for assistance.

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