By Mike Verespej, Plastics News staff
Washington -- The US Environmental Protection Agency on 6 April proposed adding 16 chemicals to its Toxics Release Inventory list, saying that a review of available studies suggest they could cause cancer in people.
It is the first proposed addition to the TRI in more than a decade, and includes vinyl chloride and four polycyclic aromatic compounds, all of which previously had been classified as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the National Toxicology Program, an interagency within the Department of Health and Human Services.
Additionally, EPA will be initiating an inventory update reporting rulemaking "in an attempt to get more information on the use of chemicals and their exposures," said Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, director of the EPA office of pollution prevention and toxics. "That will allow us to do a better assessment and do better screening of chemicals."
The target date for completing the rulemaking is next spring, Cleland-Hamnett said during Global Chem 2010 in Baltimore on 30 March.
"We will be pushing to get the final rule out as soon as possible, sometime in early 2011." The next data submission period for inventory reporting is 1 June 2001 to 30 Sept 2011 and would include data from 2010.
The Toxics Release Inventory is a publicly available EPA database that contains information on nearly 650 chemicals from about 22 000 industrial facilities. Just one year ago, EPA reinstated stricter reporting requirements, reversing the less stringent regulations of the Bush administration.
EPA estimated that 175 facilities will be impacted by the addition of the 16 chemicals to the list. Once the proposal appears in the Federal Register, there will be a 60-day comment period.
Both initiatives are part of an increased effort by EPA to regulate toxic chemicals and gather more data to assist in that decision-making. The agency also plans to attempt to decrease the amount of material that can be classified as confidential business information.
EPA also is in the process of adding 24 chemicals to its list of so-called "chemicals of concern" under the agency's Toxic Substances Control Act program over the next two years, and developing action plans to regulate those chemicals.
Since December, the agency has identified 10 chemicals of concerns and issued action plans for five of them, including bisphenol A, which is used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins.
The list of 16 chemicals that EPA is proposing to add to the Toxics Release Inventory list can be found at www.epa.gov/tri/lawsandregs/ntp_chemicals/index.html.