The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to ensure that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, signed this June 22, 2016, delivers on the promise of better protecting the environment and public health. This bipartisan bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) outlines a number of responsibilities for EPA that must be completed within a tight timeframe.
The milestones accomplished by the agency include:
- A plan released on June 29, 2016, that outlines activities for the first year of implementing the new law;
- The first determinations completed on seven premanufacture notices under TSCA in July, 2016. The new law requires the agency to make affirmative determinations on new chemical substances before they can enter the marketplace. Additional determinations will be released as they are completed;
- A series of public meetings held from August 9-12, 2016, to obtain comments and feedback from stakeholders on the processes that will be used to establish fees and prioritize and evaluate chemicals under the new law;
- A list of five mercury compounds released on August 26, 2016, that will be prohibited from export as of January 1, 2020. This action will prevent the ability to convert these compounds to elemental mercury after export from the United States.
Additionally, the agency is establishing the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) to provide independent advice and expert consultation on scientific and technical aspects on risk evaluations, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches. The call for nominations to serve on this committee was issued on August 26, 2016.
The new amendments to TSCA will help bring significant improvements to public health as EPA continues to take the steps necessary for its successful implementation.
More about the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act and EPA’s implementation activities and to sign up for updates, visit: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act.
NFDA recently shared news about the recently passed Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act and its implications for formaldehyde. This law pushes up the deadline by which the EPA must evaluate the risk of hazardous chemicals in products on the market, like formaldehyde. If the EPA determines a chemical is unsafe, the agency must impose restrictions. EPA’s toolbox of restrictions includes banning the chemical, phasing it out, imposing limits on its use, or requiring warnings and specific instructions. Virtually every EPA decision will be subject to public review and comment.
EPA Asked to Review Asbestos
In a letter send to the EPA last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), asked the EPA to list asbestos as one of the top ten chemicals for review this year. Asbestos is a known carcinogen; there are no safe levels. Many funeral homes, which are housed in older buildings, have asbestos insulation, flooring (ceiling tiles), and pipe wrapping, which if “friable” (crumble to the touch) MAY cause a health hazard through exposure breathing.