EPA Issues Significant New Use Rule for Seven Glymes Chemicals

EPA issued a significant new use rule (SNUR) in December to allow the agency to review any proposed new uses of seven ethylene glycol ethers, chemicals that are also known as glymes. According to EPA, glymes have been shown to cause damage to reproductive organs and DNA, and toxicity to blood and blood-forming organs. Glymes are used as industrial solvents and processing aids, putting workers at risk for exposure to the harmful chemicals. Consumers and children may also be exposed to glymes in products such as paints, inks, and adhesives. 

The new rule was issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and will require manufacturers and importers to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals in products. The agency would then evaluate the intended use of the chemical and have the opportunity to prohibit or limit that activity, if necessary, to ensure that human health and the environment are protected. The rule is effective Feb. 17.
EPA also added one of the seven chemicals, ethylene glycol dimethyl ether, or monoglyme, to its Work Plan for Chemical Assessments, which identifies chemicals for review and assessment of potential risks to human health and the environment. The agency will conduct a risk assessment for monoglyme to determine if further action should be taken.
For more information about this SNUR on glymes, visit the EPA website.
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