BPA, Phthalates Won't Be EPA Chemicals of Concern
EPA withdraws two chemical safety proposals lost in limbo for years.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently withdrew two proposed rules regulating chemicals that it had submitted to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs several years ago. EPA says the rules are being addressed in other ways, but the and others see the recent action as a symptom of limited authority under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
would have added eight phthalates—semi-volatile organic compounds and reproductive toxicants that are used to make PVC flexible—to EPA’s list of “chemicals of concern,” but EPA has instead designated them for further analysis. (So-called chemicals of concern are those with an EPA ; those undergoing further analysis are listed as .) EPA has also eliminated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), compounds formerly used as flame retardants, from its chemicals of concern list, along with bisphenol-A (BPA), a component of epoxy resins that poses health risks as an and .
was designed to increase product transparency by preventing any chemical associated with health and safety studies from being eligible for confidential “trade secret” status unless protected under patenting rules.
The proposals sat for White House approval for three and two years respectively, though the process is supposed to take 90 days. The holdup drew the critical eye ofand garnered support for the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013, a proposed overhaul of TSCA.
Published November 1, 2013