Availability of EPA’s Draft Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride and Notice of its Public Peer Review Meetings

On October 29, 2019, EPA published its draft risk evaluation for methylene chloride.  Under the Toxic Substance Control Act, EPA is required to conduct risk evaluations to determine whether existing chemicals present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment under the conditions of use.  Methylene Chloride is used as a solvent in a wide range of industrial, commercial and consumer applications, and EPA has determined that 65 conditions of use do present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health. Among the category of evaluated uses are repackaging, recycling, disposal, industrial and commercial use, and consumer use. EPA found unreasonable risks for industrial, commercial and consumer use of methylene chloride in anti-adhesive agents, cold pipe insulation, various automotive care products, metal cleaning products, adhesives and sealants, paint and coatings including removers, solvents in liquid and aerosol applications, and more. EPA has also presented additional unreasonable risk findings for methylene chloride in industrial and commercial settings such as use in vapor degreasers, apparel and footcare products, spot removing products, blowing agents for polyurethane foam, pharmaceutical manufacturing, chemical processing and others.  A final determination that a condition of use presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment will move the uses into the risk management phase under TSCA.  This means that the agency will have to regulate those risks, which can include use-restrictions or bans. 

EPA has submitted this evaluation for peer review through its Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC).  The 2-day peer review in-person meeting is scheduled for December 3-4, 2019.  SACC will also conduct a preparatory virtual meeting to consider the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions on November 12, 2019.  You can find more information and register for the meeting here.

Comments on the draft risk evaluation are due on December 30, 2019.  However, if you would like for your comments to be considered by SACC in time for the meeting, please plan on submitting them by November 26, 2019.

Read the draft risk evaluation and other supporting documents here and submit comments here.

Advocacy contact: Tabby Zeb at (202) 205-6790 or email at tayyaba.zeb@sba.gov.