TSCA requires EPA to establish management standards for any chemical substance that poses unreasonable risks of injury to health or the environment, based on the results of risk evaluations mandated by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st
Century Act or LCSA.
EPA has completed risk evaluations for the original 10 substances and now plans to promulgate TSCA Section 6 management standards for three
of those chemicals: HBCD, PV-29, and chrysotile asbestos.
However, the timing for risk management standards for the remaining seven substances is uncertain.
In a TSCA policy updated announced on June 30
, EPA announced changes to the risk evaluation process. Based on these changes, EPA will review the other seven completed risk evaluations to ensure that they “follow science and the law.”
What Could Change on Review
A new “whole chemical approach.”
EPA is shifting its approach to TSCA risk evaluations. EPA will continue to evaluate the risk for each condition of use. Now, however, EPA will make an unreasonable risk determination for the chemical as a whole
when a majority of the conditions of use for that chemical warrant the unreasonable risk label.
More exposure pathways considered.
Consider more pathways, incl. possibly air, water, and disposal. Previous efforts to evaluate the risks of these chemicals did not consider pathways for which EPA regulatory programs already exist (e.g., the Clean Air and Water Acts, RCRA, CERCLA, etc.)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
EPA previously determined that certain uses of the evaluated chemicals present no unreasonable risk. This determination was based on an assumption that employees who use the chemical will be outfitted with proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
EPA now believes that “assumptions that PPE is always provided to workers, and worn properly, are not justified.” With this in mind, the Agency will revisit six of the completed risk evaluations.
10 Down, 40,000 To Go
EPA will continue to evaluate the risks of TSCA inventory chemicals—and they have their work cut out for them. Results from a one-time TSCA reporting rule in 2016 shows that more than 40,000 chemicals
are active in commerce in the United States.
The “Lautenberg Law” requires EPA to keep 20 risk evaluations moving forward at any given time. In other words, a new risk evaluation must begin each time one is completed. EPA released a list of 20 more high-priority chemicals in late 2020.
Online Training to Master TSCA Compliance
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guides EHS managers through these complex rules—including how to use the TSCA Chemical Inventory; inventory, IUR, or “Form U” reporting responsibilities; Pre Manufacture Notifications (PMN); Significant New Use Rules (SNUR); management standards for PCBs, and much more.