EPA Publishes Supporting Materials for “Low-Priority” Chemicals
In August, EPA proposed to designate 20 chemicals as “low-priority substances” under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The substances include d-gluconic acid, 1-docosanol, 1,2-hexanediol, and 1-octadecanol. According to EPA, risk evaluation for these and other low-priority chemical substances is not warranted at this time. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law in June 2016 and amended TSCA, requires EPA to prioritize existing chemical substances for high- or low-priority designations. The agency’s recent action is the second step in its new process for reviewing chemical substances under the amended TSCA. EPA completed the first step in March when it published a list of 40 chemical substances, including 20 “high-priority” chemical substances for subsequent risk evaluation and 20 low-priority substances. At that time, Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in a press release that “Initiating a chemical for high or low prioritization does not mean EPA has determined it poses unreasonable risk or no risk to human health or the environment; it means we are beginning the prioritization process set forth” in the Lautenberg Act.  Chemicals designated as high priority will undergo a three-year risk evaluation to determine if they present an "unreasonable" risk to human health and the environment. Supporting materials for the 20 proposed low-priority chemical substances, including information, analysis, and the basis for the agency’s proposed designation of low priority, will be published on Regulations.gov, according to an agency news release. EPA is accepting comments on the proposed designations until Nov. 13, 2019. More information is available in the Federal Register.