Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act takes effect.

Three of ten hazardous chemicals will be discussed

10 hazardous chemicals will be evaluated for risks to human health and the environment.

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA will evaluate existing hazardous chemicals to determine whether they “present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.”

The EPA selected the first 10 hazardous chemicals based on the following criteria

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

Some may be present in consumer goods, some are used to manufacture other chemicals and some may be used to process other materials. All serve a function, and in many cases safer alternatives may be available.

I am interested in the following

  • What is the function of the chemical?
  • Why is the chemical considered hazardous?
  • Can the chemical be found in consumer products or is it more likely used in manufacturing?
  • Do safer alternatives exist?

This first blog is one of a three part series where the 10 chemicals will be discussed further.

1,4-dioxane CAS 123-91-1

This chemical is a solvent. It is a contaminant in many cleansing and moisturizing products including toothpaste, mouth wash and shampoo. Its main function is to provide a foaming function in cleansers found in personal care products.

1,4, dioxane is a potential carcinogen, is irritating to eyes and the respiratory tract and causes nerve damage. It is soluble in water, leaches to groundwater and does not biodegrade readily.

The Campaign for Safer Cosmetics suggests that to avoid products contaminated with 1-4 dioxane, purchase organic options certified under the USDA Organic program.

1-bromopropane (1-BP) CAS 106-94-5

This chemical is also a solvent and used in many different types of products and manufacturing processes. These include

  • Fiber manufacturing
  • Spot cleaner for textiles
  • Aerosol glues
  • A degreaser for some plastics during their manufacture.

1-bromopropane is a reproductive toxicant, which means women of childbearing age are at risk. In addition, it is also an irritant and a potential carcinogen. It is very dangerous to workers because they are likely to be exposed to the chemical for a longer period of time than consumers, although it is present in products the public may purchase.

Asbestos CAS 1332-21

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral. There are 6 different types of asbestos and each one is hazardous.

It was used extensively in the building industry as a wall and ceiling insulator. Asbestos naturally retards fire and was also used in

  • Fire retardant coatings
  • Concrete, bricks and fireplace cement
  • A fireproof material in hotplate wiring.

Asbestos is a carcinogen and causes Mesolthelioma, a type of lung cancer, and Asbestosis, an occupational disease affecting the lining of the lungs.

Its use has declined rapidly since the 1970’s and many countries have banned it completely, including Australia and Canada.

Although there is not one single replacement to asbestos, there are many options available, depending on the specific function being replaced.

Impacts to your business

Questions to consider:

  • Does a product you manufacture 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: Jan 09, 2017 in Regulations

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