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EPA names next 20 chemicals for high-priority risk evaluation under updated TSCA

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Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final list of an additional 20 chemicals designated as high-priority substances for risk evaluation under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

According to a notice published in the Dec. 30 Federal Register, a chemical identified as high priority is required to undergo a three-year evaluation for potential health and environmental risks. EPA notes that such a designation “is not a finding of unreasonable risk.”

The chemicals include:

  • 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

“Today we are continuing to deliver on the promise of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to assess and review existing chemicals in the marketplace,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a Dec. 20 press release.

EPA must release a scoping document for each chemical by June, detailing hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations.

EPA previously weighed comments on 40 chemicals to prioritize for risk evaluation. Publication of this list in March triggered a statutory requirement for EPA to designate at least 20 chemicals each as high and low priority by Dec. 22.

The agency on Aug. 15 designated 20 substances as low-priority chemicals, which are not subject to additional evaluation. In the release, the agency states that it expects to finalize the list of low-priority chemicals early this year.

 

The American Chemistry Council, a trade association representing chemical manufacturers, praised EPA’s efforts in a Dec. 20 statement.

“Successful implementation of TSCA in accordance with the statute and congressional intent is essential to ensuring protections for human health and the environment,” the statement reads.

The 20 chemicals are separate from the first 10 chemicals currently being evaluated for potential health and environmental risks under the Lautenberg Act.

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