Federal agencies Chemical Manufacturing

EPA requests input on draft risk evaluations for two TSCA chemicals

Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on draft risk evaluations for two chemical substances that are among the first 10 slated for evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, according to a notice published in the July 1 Federal Register.

The draft for the Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster – which includes a sub-cluster that is used as a flame retardant in extruded polystyrene foam, textiles, and electrical and electronic appliances – states that the chemical presents “no unreasonable risks” to the general population, workers or the environment.

However, the draft for 1,4-dioxane, used in consumer products, notes that the substance poses “unreasonable risks” to workers in certain circumstances, including:

  • Domestic manufacturing
  • Pharmaceutical, medicine and basic organic chemical manufacturing
  • Use as an adhesive and sealant
  • Disposal

EPA claims that 1,4-dioxane offers no unreasonable risk to occupational nonusers or the environment. “It is important to note that for the general population, including children, environmental statutes administered by EPA, such as the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, adequately assess and effectively manage risks from 1,4-dioxane,” the agency states.

As required under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was amended by the Lautenberg Act, the draft risk evaluations are scheduled to undergo an in-person peer review by the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals from July 29 to Aug. 2. Additionally, a “preparatory virtual meeting” is slated for July 10 “to consider the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions for the peer reviews,” according to the notice.


EPA previously solicited comments on problem formation documents for the first 10 chemicals before releasing its first draft risk evaluation – for Pigment Violet 29 – in November. A Nov. 14 agency press release stated that EPA planned to release draft risk evaluations for the remaining nine chemicals “in the coming months,” and intended to issue final risk evaluations for the first 10 chemicals by December 2019.

Written comments and requests to speak during the SACC peer review must be submitted by July 19. Comments on the draft risk evaluations are due Aug. 30.

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