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Pigment Violet 29: EPA requests comment on draft revision of risk determination

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Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a draft revised final risk evaluation that states Pigment Violet 29, as a whole chemical substance, poses “unreasonable risk” to humans and the environment – a reversal of previous findings – and suggests more workers may face potential health hazards because they don’t always “appropriately” wear personal protective equipment.

According to a notice published in the March 7 Federal Register, the revision follows federal priorities – outlined in June in agency plans to retool chemical risk evaluation processes – “to ensure the public is protected from unreasonable risks from chemicals in a way that is supported by science and the law.”

In a January 2021 final risk evaluation, EPA found that PV29 – primarily used as a colorant in consumer products such as paints, coatings, plastics and rubber products – presents unreasonable risk to workers under certain conditions, including:

  • Domestic manufacture and import
  • Paint and coating processing
  • Plastic and rubber product processing
  • Recycling
  • Industrial and commercial use of plastic and rubber products in automobile products

However, the agency maintained its stance from the initial draft risk evaluation published in November 2018 that found the substance – one of the first 10 chemicals to be evaluated for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act – posed no unreasonable risk of injury to humans or the environment.

Subsequent analysis by the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals, required under the Toxic Substances Control Act – which the Lautenberg Act amended – revealed various data-related concerns, triggering the changes found in the January 2021 determination.

The draft revision “would supersede” previous findings and remain “consistent with EPA’s plans to revise specific aspects of the first 10 TSCA chemical risk evaluations in order to ensure that the risk evaluations better align with TSCA’s objective of protecting health and the environment,” the notice states.

David Wawer, executive director of the Color Pigments Manufacturers Association, told Safety+Health his organization is following developments.

In December, Wawer wrote a letter to EPA requesting the agency reconsider its final risk evaluation, enclosing a study that the association says “definitively” shows workers and occupational non-users at a South Carolina chemical facility – the only known domestic manufacturer of PV29, according to the study – “are not exposed to PV29 particles in the ultrafine range that EPA found to present health hazards.”

CPMA believes EPA should conclude that no unreasonable risk is present in downstream use of PV29 “unless such use involves agitation and dispersion of PV29 particles.”

Comments on the draft revision are due April 21.

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