New EPA Rules Target Chemicals in Imported Products
EPA has issued significant new use rules (SNURs) to allow the agency to review any efforts by manufacturers and importers to introduce potentially harmful chemicals into the marketplace. Chemicals covered by the new rules include most uses of certain benzidine-based dyes; most uses of DnPP, a phthalate; and Alkanes C12-13, chloro, which are short-chain chlorinated paraffins. These chemicals are not currently used in the U.S. market, but they have previously been used in consumer products and could find their way into the marketplace through imported products.
According to EPA, benzidine-based dyes can be used in textiles, paints, and inks, and can be converted in the body into a chemical that is known to cause cancer. DnPP has been shown to cause developmental and reproductive effects in laboratory animals, and can be used in PVC plastics. The agency notes that Alkanes C12-13, chloro, can be used as industrial lubricants; can be transported globally in the environment; and are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to aquatic organisms.
The new rules were issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act and will require those who wish to manufacture, import, or process these chemical substances to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals. The agency would then evaluate the intended use of the chemicals and have the opportunity to prohibit or limit that activity, if necessary, to ensure that human health and the environment are protected.
These rules went into effect on Feb. 27. For more information, visit the EPA website.