U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will begin assessments on 23 commonly used chemicals, with a specific focus on flame retardant chemicals. These assessments are part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan which identifies commonly used chemicals for risk assessment.
EPA plans to begin by evaluating 20 flame retardant chemicals, conducting full risk assessments for four of the flame retardants, three of which are on the TSCA Work Plan, and one that was the subject of an Action Plan development under TSCA. In addition, EPA plans to conduct assessments of eight other flame retardants by grouping flame retardants with similar characteristics together with the chemicals targeted for full assessment.
EPA also plans to evaluate how eight of the 20 flame retardant chemicals transform and move in the environment. These chemicals were selected because they are likely to persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in humans and/or have high exposure potential, but lack adequate data to conduct full risk assessments. During its review of data on flame retardant chemicals in commerce, EPA also identified approximately 50 flame retardant chemicals that are unlikely to pose a risk to human health, making them possible substitutes for more toxic flame retardant chemicals.