New TSCA Restrictions for Methylene Chloride Proposed
On May 3, US EPA proposed extensive new restrictions on the manufacture, processing, distribution, and use of methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane (DCM).
As authorized under Section 6 of TSCA, EPA is proposing to implement the following restrictions for methylene chloride:
- Prohibit manufacture, processing, and distribution for consumer use,
- Prohibit most industrial and commercial uses,
- Require new worker protections and exposure monitoring, and
- Add recordkeeping and notification requirements for several conditions of use.
Limited time exemptions: The rule provides “certain time-limited exemptions from requirements for uses of methylene chloride that would otherwise significantly disrupt national security and critical infrastructure.”
EPA will accept public comments on the proposed rule until July 3, 2023.
Methylene Chloride Risk Evaluations
The proposed rule follows EPA’s latest risk evaluation for methylene chloride, completed in November 2022. With that evaluation, the agency determined that methylene chloride poses an unreasonable risk to health “as a whole chemical substance.” An earlier risk evaluation, completed in 2020, also found that the chemical posed a great deal of unreasonable risk to human health.
Both risk evaluations were completed to meet statutory requirements in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act or LCSA.
In short, that law reformed TSCA and requires EPA to identify the risks of chemicals on the TSCA inventory list and address those risks (when needed) with new prohibitions, restrictions, worker protections, or other measures.
A rule prohibiting methylene chloride in consumer paint and coating removal products, and adding new requirements for manufacturers and distributors, took effect in 2019.
New to TSCA or Environmental Compliance?
If you’re new to the field of environmental compliance or need an update on changing EPA rules, online training is a convenient way to quickly build in-depth expertise.
The Complete Environmental Regulations online course will prepare you to identify the 40 CFR regulations that impact your facility and take the steps need to achieve compliance. The course covers the keys to applicability for major EPA air, water, and chemical programs and will help you make informed decisions about environmental compliance.
Check out more environmental compliance training options:
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online
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