On November 29, 2016, U.S. EPA announced the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under the newly amended Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA).

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act into law as P.L. No. 114-182. The bipartisan act represented the first major overhaul of TSCA since its enactment in 1976 (for more information, see our prior blog post on TSCA reform).

The first ten chemicals to be evaluated under the newly amended TSCA are:

  • 1,4-Dioxane
  • 1-Bromopropane
  • Asbestos
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster
  • Methylene Chloride
  • N-methylpyrrolidone
  • Pigment Violet 29
  • Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene
  • Trichloroethylene

The list was developed from EPA’s 2014 TSCA work plan, which consisted of 90 chemicals selected based on their potential for hazard and exposure, among other considerations such as persistence and bioaccumulation.

The Lautenberg amendments require this list to be published in the Federal Register by December 19, 2016. The list’s publication in the Federal Register will trigger a statutory deadline for EPA to complete risk evaluations for these chemicals within three years. If as a result of the risk evaluation EPA concludes the chemical presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, EPA must restrict the chemical’s use or otherwise mitigate that risk within two years. Additionally, EPA must release a scoping document for each chemical within six months of the list’s publication in the Federal Register; these documents will include the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations the Agency plans to consider in its evaluation of each chemical.

For each risk evaluation EPA completes, TSCA requires that EPA begin another evaluation; by the end of 2019, EPA must have at least 20 chemical risk evaluations ongoing at any given time.