EPA Proposes Risk Management of Perchloroethylene Under the Toxic Substance Control Act
On June 16, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule to restrict the use of perchloroethylene (PCE) under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). PCE is used as a solvent in a wide range of occupational and consumer applications including fluorinated compound production, petroleum manufacturing, dry cleaning, and aerosol degreasing. TSCA requires that EPA address any unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment so that the chemical no longer presents unreasonable risk. EPA evaluated 61 conditions of use of PCE and determined that all but one (i.e., distribution in commerce) present an unreasonable risk of injury to health for workers and consumers. Based on these risk determinations, EPA is proposing to prohibit most industrial and commercial uses of PCE, as well as its use in dry cleaning through a 10-year phaseout. EPA is also proposing to ban PCE for consumer use. For the remaining uses, EPA is proposing to require a workplace chemical protection program, which would include a requirement to meet an existing chemical exposure limit, set by EPA, and to prevent direct dermal contact. EPA is also proposing to require prescriptive workplace controls for laboratory use, and to establish recordkeeping and downstream notification requirements. Additionally, EPA includes certain time-limited exemptions for certain critical or essential emergency uses of PCE for which not technically and economically feasible safer alternative is available.
Comments are due on August 15, 2023.
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