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  • July 17, 2022
  • WTO

U.S notified draft revision to toxic substances control act (TSCA) risk determination on methylene chloride

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of and seeking public comment on a draft revision to the risk determination for the methylene chloride risk evaluation issued under TSCA.

The draft revision to the methylene chloride risk determination reflects the announced policy changes to ensure the public is protected from unreasonable risks from chemicals in a way that is supported by science and the law. In this draft revision to the risk determination EPA finds that methylene chloride, as a whole chemical substance, presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health when evaluated under its conditions of use. In addition, this revised risk determination does not reflect an assumption that all workers always appropriately wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

EPA understands that there could be occupational safety protections in place at workplace locations; however, not assuming use of PPE reflects EPA's recognition that unreasonable risk may exist for subpopulations of workers that may be highly exposed because they are not covered by OSHA standards, or their employers are out of compliance with the Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)standards, or because many of OSHA's chemical-specific permissible exposure limits largely adopted in the 1970's are described by OSHA as being "outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health,'' or because the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) alone may be inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health.

This revision, when final, would supersede the condition of use-specific no unreasonable risk determinations in the June 2020 methylene chloride risk evaluation (and withdraw the associated order) and would make a revised determination of unreasonable risk for methylene chloride as a whole chemical substance.

Relevant documents:

(*) WTO Notification G/TBT/N/USA/1891

(*)  draft regulation


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