Final three chemicals for EPA assessment

Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act in action.

A pigment, flame retardants and another solvent complete the list of ten chemicals identified by TSCA reform.

The EPA will evaluate ten existing hazardous chemicals to determine whether they “present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.”

The chemicals were selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Hazard and the public’s potential exposure
  2. Whether they are persistent or bioaccumulative
  3. Recommendations from public, industry, environmental and public health groups

These chemicals may be present in consumer goods, they may be used to manufacture other chemicals, or they may be used to process other materials. In many cases safer alternatives are available.

I am interested in the following

  • The function of the chemical
  • The hazard profile
  • Whether it exists in consumer products

My first blog post looked at two solvents and asbestos, the second blog post focused on solvents and this post discusses a colorant, flame retardants and another solvent.

Pigment Violet 29

Pigment violet 29 is a colorant, which may be used in plastics, metallic varnishes and printing inks. The EPA has published an excellent overview about Pigment Violet 29. It includes different manufacturing pathways, the types of materials it provides color to and its many commercial names. The main consumer products are watercolor and acrylic paints.

Pigment Violet 29 can be replaced by numerous other safer pigments and dyes and hence there is absolutely no need for it to be used in commerce.

Its main toxicity profile is its high aquatic toxicity.

Cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster (HBCD)

This cluster of brominated molecules all serve as flame-retardants, especially for polystyrene, textiles and electrical wiring. According to the EPA, HBCD’s are found predominantly in expanded and extruded polystyrene foam. Cyclic aliphatic bromide chemicals are also in upholstered textiles and some packaging materials.

These chemicals cause liver damage and reproductive damage. In addition, they are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) to the environment. Chemicals that fall in this category are extremely concerning because they do not biodegrade, and instead build up in living systems. Finally, this group is highly toxic to fishes.

Trichloroethylene TCE

The final chemical on the list is a halogenated organic compound, just like HBCD. It was used as an anesthetic and as an inhaled analgesic, but due to its high toxicity this is not the case any more. In addition, it was used to decaffeinate coffee, and as a dry cleaning solvent.

Today its primary use is to remove grease from metal parts, although it can be an ingredient in some adhesives, paint strippers and typewriter correction fluids. TCE is present in drinking water, indoor environments, surface water, ambient air, groundwater, and soil.

It is a carcinogen and has been associated with toxic effects to the liver and kidneys, especially in workers.

Impacts to your business

Questions to consider:

  • Does a product you manufacture or maybe even buy as a consumer possibly contain one of the hazardous chemicals listed?
  • How do you keep up to date with key chemicals regulations?

For help with any issue associated with chemicals, contact Amanda Cattermole at (415) 412 8406 or We can help you develop powerful solutions to protect your company and brand reputation and result in safer products manufactured in cleaner supply chains.

Tips and Insights contains information to help you make informed chemical management decisions. Each post highlights a particular topic and includes questions you may want to consider for your business.

Posted on: Apr 16, 2017 in Regulations

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