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EPA Plans Ban on Toxic Dry-Cleaning Chemical

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to ban certain uses of trichlorethylene, citing liver and neurological risks.

WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency plans to ban certain uses of trichlorethylene (TCE), citing liver and neurological risks.

“EPA identified serious risks to workers and consumers associated with TCE uses in a 2014 assessment that concluded that the chemical can cause a range of adverse health effects, including cancer, development and nerotoxicological effects, and toxicity to the liver,” the agency said in a statement.

“Specifically, EPA is proposing to prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of TCE for use in aerosol degreasing and for use in spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities. EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the prohibitions,” the agency said. (Parentheses in original.)

TCE is one of ten chemicals EPA plans to evaluate for potential risks to health and the environment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, according to EPA’s website.

“Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace,” Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said when the list came out. “We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”

TCE was chosen as one of the first chemicals to process because it is highly hazardous and the chance of public exposure is great. Additionally, evaluation was already underway.

Since it is on the TSCA list of top ten chemicals for review, additional uses of the chemical, beyond aerosol degreasing and use in spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities, will also be evaluated.

Once published, the proposed rule and supporting documents will be available in the Federal Register Docket by searching for HQ-OPPT-2016-0163, EPA said.

Categories / Business, Environment

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