EPA Updates TSCA Work Plan
EPA has added 23 chemicals to its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan for Chemical Assessments. The Work Plan identifies chemicals for review and assessment of potential risks to human health and the environment.
The changes reflect updated data submitted by the chemical industry on chemical releases and potential exposure. The agency designated five of the 23 new substances as “Action Plan” chemicals, which include chemicals that are high priorities for assessment due to their hazard, exposure, and persistence/bioaccumulation rankings in EPA’s chemical screening methodology.
The new Action Plan chemicals include bisphenol A (BPA), decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP/NPE), and a group of phthalates.
EPA also removed 13 chemicals from the TSCA Work Plan because the agency has determined that they are not currently in commerce. In addition, the agency removed quartz and mercury/mercury compounds from the Work Plan, citing special cases. According to EPA, the hazards of mercury and mercury compounds are already well characterized, and the agency already has a risk reduction effort in place. In the case of quartz, EPA notes that it presents a hazard “only in the context of silicosis from the inhalation of very fine crystalline dust particles, which might occur only during such occupational activities as sandblasting or stone cutting”—exposures that are controlled under OSHA regulations.