The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) has raised concerns over the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) assessment of risks associated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of manufacturing processes for certain surfactants used in cleaning products and detergents. ACI has criticized the EPA for relying on "outdated, very limited data" in its rapid determination of "unreasonable risks" linked to 1,4-dioxane.
1,4-Dioxane is not intentionally added to cleaning products but is occasionally present at trace levels due to its formation during manufacturing processes. ACI responded to the EPA's draft revision to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk determination for 1,4-dioxane and a draft supplement to the risk evaluation, stressing the importance of working with the industry to create a more reliable risk assessment using accurate and current data from a broader range of real-world sites.
Dr. James Kim, ACI Vice President of Science & Regulatory Affairs, emphasized, "Given the importance of surfactants in our daily lives, it is critical that the Agency work with industry to build a reliable risk assessment with more accurate and current data from a wider range of real-world sites."
ACI also highlighted the industry's proactive efforts to reduce 1,4-dioxane levels in finished products, where the substance may be present as an unintended byproduct. They urged the EPA to refrain from using untested methodologies in risk evaluations and recommended that these methods be validated and peer-reviewed before being applied to revised risk determinations. ACI also advocated that the Fenceline 1.0 approach should only serve as a screening tool, not for risk evaluation.
Furthermore, ACI agreed with the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals that the EPA should prioritize existing data from published risk evaluations instead of relying on modeling results. They stressed that 1,4-dioxane environmental monitoring is well-documented and should be considered.
In comments on the EPA's Draft Supplement to the TSCA Risk Evaluation on 1,4-dioxane, ACI expressed concerns over the Agency's use of new methodologies without peer review and urged the EPA to provide greater transparency by making technical materials available for public examination. They also requested a more reasonable review and comment period for the public.
ACI reassured consumers that their favorite detergents and cleaning products can be used safely and effectively, emphasizing that millions of people use them daily. The American Cleaning Institute represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain, including manufacturers, formulators, ingredient suppliers, and chemical distributors, all committed to advancing the industry's health, quality, and sustainability through sound science and advocacy.
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