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EPA requests input on 20 chemicals for high-priority risk evaluation

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Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on 20 chemicals for potential designation as high-priority substances, another step in accordance with the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

According to a notice published in the Aug. 23 Federal Register, the chemicals under consideration are:

  • Seven chlorinated solvents
  • Six phthalates, or hormone-disrupting substances linked to several health-related issues
  • Four flame retardants
  • Formaldehyde
  • One fragrance additive
  • One polymer precursor

EPA previously weighed comments on a list of 40 chemicals to prioritize for risk evaluation, released in March. Publication of this list launched a statutory requirement for the agency to designate at least 20 chemicals each as high and low priority by Dec. 22. EPA on Aug. 15 designated 20 substances as low-priority chemicals, which are not required to undergo additional evaluation.

A chemical identified as high priority is required to undergo a three-year risk evaluation.

“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,” Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in an Aug. 23 press 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.”

Review dockets for each chemical are available online at regulations.gov. Comments are due Nov. 21.

The American Chemistry Council, a trade association representing chemical manufacturers, released a statement Aug. 23 applauding EPA’s efforts to advance the prioritization process.

“Successful implementation of [the Toxic Substances Control Act] in accordance with the statute and congressional intent is essential to ensuring protections for human health and the environment,” ACC said in the statement.

The chemicals under consideration for high-priority identification are separate from the first 10 chemicals slated for evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Lautenberg Act.

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