WASHINGTON (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency proposes significant new use rules for manufacturers of items using carbon nanotubes, chemical substances with strength and electrical properties, which may cause lung or skin hazards.
Multi-walled and single-walled carbon nanotubes are the types in question. Their use has required premanufature notice to the EPA.
The EPA has proposed rules that designate as a "significant new use," any planned manufacture, importation, or processing without protective measures "to limit exposures or otherwise mitigate the potential unreasonable risk" of using these substances. The new use would require notification to the EPA at least 90 days before beginning that activity, so the EPA may evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, prohibit or limit it before it occurs.
Scientists are studying whether carbon nanotubes may cause mesothelioma as certain types of asbestos do.
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