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EPA issues final revised risk determinations for 1-BP and NMP

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Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency has issued separate, final revised risk determinations that state 1-bromopropane and n-methylpyrrolidone – as whole chemical substances – pose “unreasonable risk” to workers under certain conditions.

According to EPA, which published the documents in the Dec. 19 Federal Register, “the next step in the process is to develop risk management rulemakings to identify and require the implementation of measures to manage these risks.”

The agency found that 1-BP – frequently used as a solvent in consumer products – poses unreasonable risk to workers involved in operations including domestic manufacturing, importing, processing as a reactant, repacking, recycling, and use as a solvent for cleaning or degreasing.

EPA also is screening 1-BP for potential risks from air and water pathways as it aims to “determine if there may be risks that were unaccounted for” during the risk evaluation. The agency continues to evaluate an external peer review via the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals and expects to present findings “in the forthcoming proposed rule” under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amended.

Also known as NMP, n-methylpyrrolidone is used often in consumer products. EPA says the substance 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

Both substances are among the first 10 chemicals under evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Lautenberg Act.

EPA’s revisions are consistent with the agency’s June 2021 announcement to change certain aspects of the process under the Lautenberg Act with the objective of ensuring “the public is protected from unreasonable risks from chemicals in a way that is supported by science and the law.”

A corresponding action includes using a “whole substance” approach when determining unreasonable risk – rather than basing determinations on separate conditions of use – as well as revisiting the assumption that personal protective equipment is always provided and worn properly by workers when making risk determinations.

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