US EPA has completed another chemical risk evaluation
required by the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The latest risk evaluation concerns a class of flame retardants called Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster chemicals, namely hexabromocyclododecane or HBCD.
EPA’s risk evaluation found “unreasonable risk” for six of the twelve uses of HBCD studied.
Read the Final Risk Evaluation for HBCD
HBCD is one of the first ten priority chemicals
EPA chose for risk evaluations in 2016.
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What is HBCD?
HBCD’s primary use is as a flame retardant in building materials like insulation, solder paste, recycled plastics, and replacement car parts. It has been largely substituted out of use in the United States in recent years.
Evidence supports HBCD being a persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic chemical. High concentrations of the chemical have been found in samples of animals.
EPA has had an HBCD Action Plan
in place since at least 2010.
What's Happens Next?
Now that EPA has identified the unreasonable risks that HBCD poses under some of its uses, they must address those risks with regulatory action within two years. EPA's menu of risk management options includes prohibition or limits on manufacture, processing, or distribution of the chemical, worker protections, disposal restrictions, and more.
EPA continues to plow through its backlog of chemical risk evaluations required by the Lautenberg Law or LCSA, which amended TSCA.
Under the law, EPA is expected to be at work on twenty chemical risk evaluations at any given time. Earlier this month, EPA released scope documents for the next twenty high-priority chemicals that will undergo risk evaluation.
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