EPA released on June 1 the “problem formulation” documents for the first 10 chemicals for which risk evaluations are being conducted under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). (See: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-takes-three-important-steps-ensure-chemical-safety-under-lautenberg-act-proposes.) The documents describe the chemical use and exposure scenarios that the agency expects to examine, as well as the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and exposed populations (e.g., workers, consumers, bystanders) that will be considered as EPA conducts the risk evaluations. Companies that manufacture or use products containing these chemicals should review the scoping documents and assess whether the use and exposure scenarios identified by EPA are accurate with respect to the products that they make or utilize in their production processes. EPA is taking comments for 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register.

For example, the scoping documents rely in part on 2012 and 2016 Chemical Data Reporting to identify potential consumer or commercial exposures for various uses of a chemical that may be outdated or which may have been phased out. If so, companies may wish to submit comments to EPA clarifying the nature and extent (or lack) of exposure to the chemical of interest. Such comments could help avoid any inappropriate or misleading associations of risk that could result from the EPA evaluation.

The 10 chemicals, for which risk evaluations must be completed by December 2019, are: Asbestos, 1-Bromopropane, Carbon Tetrachloride, 1,4-Dioxane, Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD), Methylene Chloride, n-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP), Perchloroethylene, C.I. Pigment Violet 29, and Trichloroethylene (TCE).