Bethesda, Maryland - The US Adhesive and Sealant Council says that the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has plans to reopen Rule 1168 on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
ASC also notes the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency's) continued efforts to seek information on consumer exposure to diisocyanates will "be a critical area" that ASC's government relations department will focus on in 2012.
"The South Coast's decision to reopen the regulation that sets volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions for commercial adhesive and sealant applications could have a major impact on how members formulate their products," said Mark Collatz, ASC's director of Government Relations.
"Should the District decide to add new categories to the rule, companies that may never have had to deal with the rule could now be thrown into the mix. In addition, South Coast can be a bellwether for other California air districts which might follow suit in revisiting their rules."
The EPA issued Chemical Action Plans for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in spring 2011. The plans outline how the agency will ascertain levels of exposure to MDI and TDI for consumers and self-employed workers, as well as what steps might need to be taken to reduce such exposures.
"ASC and some of its member companies have already established a communications dialogue with the Agency's staff, and we will be organising an industry response to what we expect will be a formalized call for information by EPA later this year," said Collatz.
Other issues ASC will monitor closely this year include:
•an expected final rule from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), aimed at reducing toxic chemicals from consumer products;
•* Environment Canada's second phase of its Chemical Management Plan;
•protection of Confidential Business Information under TSCA; the OSHA Global Harmonization Standard Rule; and
• TSCA modernisation legislation.
Collatz pointed out that key speakers at ASC's Spring Convention, 15-17 April in Denver will address some these issues including Rizhaldy Caluncagin --SCAQMD's manager responsible for Rule 1168 -- and Hortensia Muniz -- a California DTSC senior hazardous substances engineer --who is presently working on the revised rules for the California Green Chemistry Initiative.