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EPA publishes final risk evaluation for n-methylpyrrolidone

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Washington — The chemical substance n-methylpyrrolidone, also known as NMP, presents an unreasonable risk to workers under certain conditions, according to a final risk evaluation recently released by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is now compelled to propose within one year regulatory action to mitigate the chemical’s hazards.

Used frequently in consumer products, NMP is among the first 10 chemicals under evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

According to the final evaluation, released Dec. 23 and announced via a notice published in the Dec. 30 Federal Register, NMP poses unreasonable risk to workers involved in numerous operations through potential short- and long-term inhalation, direct dermal exposure, and vapor-through-skin exposure. These include:

  • Paint and coating removal
  • Machine manufacturing
  • Adhesive removal
  • Cleaning and degreasing in electronic equipment
  • Use of automotive care products
 

“Workers using NMP products should continue to follow label instructions and applicable workplace regulations and should properly use appropriate personal protective equipment such as protective gloves,” EPA states.

As required under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which the Lautenberg Act amended, EPA must address risks by proposing within one year regulatory actions such as training, certification, restricted access and/or ban of commercial use, and then accept public comment on any proposals.

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