EPA Proposes Banning Two Uses of TCE
In December, EPA issued a proposal to prohibit the manufacture, import, processing, and distribution in commerce of trichloroethylene (TCE) for use as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning and as an aerosol degreaser. The proposal requires manufacturers, processers, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the ban. EPA recently listed TCE among the first 10 chemicals that it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) legislation.
EPA’s final risk assessment for TCE, which was published in 2014, identifies occupational health risks to workers who use the chemical as a degreaser in small commercial shops and as a stain-removing agent in dry cleaning. The assessment also addresses health risks to consumers exposed to TCE when using spray aerosol degreasers and spray fixatives. According to the risk assessment, there are cancer risk concerns for users and bystanders occupationally exposed to TCE when using TCE-containing vapor degreasers and spot cleaners. EPA found that occupational exposures to commercial degreasers show the greatest cancer risk when compared to spot-cleaning exposure scenarios.
Comments on the proposed rule are due by Feb. 14, 2017. Read more in EPA’s
press release
Editors' note:
A regulatory freeze issued January 20 potentially affects several regulations related to occupational and environmental health and safety. See the
AIHA website
for more information.