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TSCA Milestone: Methylene Chloride Risk Eval Finalized

Posted on June 26, 2020 by Roger Marks

EPA’s first completed chemical risk evaluation required by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform law, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA), is now available.

The first chemical across the finish line is methylene chloride.

While EPA determined that methylene chloride poses no unreasonable risk to the environment, the completed evaluation does show unreasonable risk to workers, occupational non-users, and bystanders under nearly all uses of the chemical.

Final Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride

The final risk evaluation comes after years of work to assess and control the risks associated with methylene chloride. In March 2019, EPA finalized a rule to prohibit the manufacture and import, processing, and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use.

So What?

What happens next? Now that EPA has identified the risks that methylene chloride poses, they are required by law to address these risks with a rulemaking within two years.

EPA’s risk management actions could include proposed regulations to prohibit or limit the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of the chemical, as applicable.

More Risk Evaluations in Progress

Under the reformed TSCA program, EPA must keep twenty high-priority risk evaluations in progress at any one time. In January 2020, EPA released its list of the first twenty high-priority chemicals slated for risk evaluation.
In February, EPA released draft risk evaluations for two other high-priority chemicals, Carbon Tetrachloride and Trichloroethylene (TCE).

In April, EPA released the draft risk evaluation for asbestos. That same month, EPA publicized scope documents for its next 20 high-priority chemicals.

To catch up on EPA’s efforts to implement the LCSA, see our April 2020 TSCA Reform Progress Report.

Master TSCA Chemical Management and Reporting

Be confident you know how the Lautenberg Law impacts your responsibilities for chemical management, inventory reporting, and recordkeeping.

The TSCA Regulations Online Course is updated to cover throughout the year to cover new requirements that professionals in the chemical manufacturing, import/export, storage, and processing fields must know.