The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new use rules for 37 chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require persons “who intend to manufacture, import, or process any of these 37 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this proposed rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity.” 78 Fed. Reg. 12,684 (2/25/13). EPA says that the required notification would provide the agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

The proposed rule includes 14 substances whose reported chemical names include the term “carbon nanotube” or “carbon nanofibers.” The others are a variety of different chemical substances. Each substance has reportedly already gone into production with safeguards implemented, either by consent order or via the manufacturer’s or processor’s pre-manufacture notice.