WASHINGTON, D.C. — After reviewing input from stakeholders and the public, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Friday the next 20 chemicals to undergo risk evaluation under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Finalizing this list of high-priority chemicals for risk evaluation represents the final step in the prioritization process outlined in TSCA and marks another major TSCA milestone for EPA in its efforts to ensure the safety of existing chemicals in the marketplace.
“Today we are continuing to deliver on the promise of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to assess and review existing chemicals in the marketplace,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “EPA is committed to transparency and being open with the public as these chemicals move through this TSCA process to evaluate the risks these chemicals may pose to public health and the environment.”
The 20 chemicals that will undergo risk evaluation consist of seven chlorinated solvents, six phthalates, four flame retardants, formaldehyde, a fragrance additive, and a polymer precursor. It is important to note that being designated as a high-priority chemical does not mean that a chemical is high risk.
The next steps for these chemicals are outlined in TSCA’s process for risk evaluation. This first includes taking public comment on scoping documents for each of these 20 chemicals. By June 2020, EPA will finalize these scoping documents, which will include the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations EPA expects to consider during each chemical’s risk evaluation. The agency also will take public comments on the draft risk evaluations for these chemicals and will finalize them after considering the public input the agency receives.
EPA is still carefully reviewing public comments on the 20 low-priority chemicals proposed in August 2019. The agency will finalize the list of low-priority chemicals in early 2020. Additionally, EPA will soon release and take public comments on a draft list of manufacturers and importers of these chemicals to help determine the appropriate division of fees as required under the TSCA fees rule.