News Brief

EPA Reveals Chemicals Used in Thousands of Products

By Erin Weaver

EPA's New Chemical Database

This screen capture from the online version of the database shows both innocuous and less innocuous chemicals used at a specific Johns Manville manufacturing site, where both insulation and paper are made.

Screen capture: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Information on 7,674 chemicals manufactured or imported by more than 1,500 U.S. companies has been published in the first reporting cycle since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reformed its Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) program in 2011.

The database does not provide information on toxicity, but it may be a powerful tool for product research along with material safety data sheets (MSDS) because of new EPA reporting rules about chemical use.

Based on information provided for that year, the report identifies chemicals used in commercial, industrial, and consumer products, including toys and furniture. Established under the Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA) in 1986, the CDR rule was amended in 2011; changes included lowering the reporting threshold to 25,000 pounds per year, requiring substantiation for confidentiality claims, and replacing the option of reporting information as “not readily obtainable” with the more stringent “not reasonably ascertainable.”

The online version of the database can be searched by chemical name or CAS number, or by company name. The entire database can also be downloaded for use in Microsoft Access.

Based on the data, EPA has proposed a list of 83 chemicals for further risk assessment, 25 of them fast-tracked for study by 2014. These include the chlorinated flame retardant tris (chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP, used in furniture foam, textiles, carpet backing, and many other products), trichloroethylene (a VOC used in some adhesives and coatings), and antimony trioxide (used as a flame retardant in some coatings and adhesives).

The CDR database is available to the public on EPA’s website.

Published March 6, 2013

Weaver, E. (2013, March 6). EPA Reveals Chemicals Used in Thousands of Products. Retrieved from

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