Three persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals are at the top of EPA’s list for significant restrictions, and perhaps an eventual ban on one or more.
The exposure risks and long-term health effects are most serious for chemical industry workers who handle the substances. EPA and OSHA warn that chemical manufacturers, distributors and importers don’t always take safety precautions seriously and that even experienced professionals fail to wear PPE for eye, face, hand and whole body protection on a consistent basis.
EPA plans to crack down on these three chemicals through one or more Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rules each over the next two years:
- perchloroethylene (perc)
- n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), and
Will EPA finally ban one of these chemicals?
Perc and 1-bromopropane pose “unreasonable risk to the health of workers, occupational non-users (workers nearby but not in direct contact with them), consumers and bystanders.” Perc is a solvent used in degreasers, lubricants, adhesives, sealants and a variety of cleaners. 1-bromopropane is a halogenated solvent used in adhesives, degreasers, cleaners, and auto care products.
NMP may be harmful to workers and consumers. The chemical is used in manufacturing of electronics, polymers, agrichemicals and petrochemical products.
Perc, NMP and 1-bromopropane were among the first 10 chemicals EPA chose for in-depth TSCA analyses in 2016.