EPA has released for public comment draft risk assessments on five chemicals found in common household products. The draft risk assessments were developed as part of the agency’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan, which identified common chemicals for review to assess any impacts on human health and the environment. Following public comment, the agency will seek an independent, scientific peer review of the assessments before beginning to finalize them in the fall of 2013.
The five assessments address the following chemical uses:
- methylene chloride or dichloromethane (DCM) and n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in paint stripper products;
- trichloroethylene (TCE) as a degreaser and a spray-on protective coating;
- antimony trioxide (ATO) as a synergist in halogenated flame retardants; and
- 1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8,-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyran (HHCB) as a fragrance ingredient in commercial and consumer products.
The draft assessments focus either on human health or ecological hazards for specific uses which are subject to regulation under TSCA. Three of the draft risk assessments (DCM, NMP, and TCE) indicate a potential concern for human health under specific exposure scenarios for particular uses. The preliminary assessments for ATO and HHCB indicate a low concern for ecological health.
The draft assessments were undertaken as part of EPA’s efforts to identify chemicals for review under the TSCA Work Plan, which EPA released in March 2012. At that time, EPA identified 83 chemicals as candidates for review and outlined the data sources and other information the agency would use in the reviews.