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EPA Takes Action on Chemicals Used in Textiles, Paints, Inks, Plastics

Friday, December 19, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Dec. 17 its intention to issue significant new use rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act to address the potential health risks of the following chemicals.

• Nine benzidine-based dyes – used in the production of textiles, paints and inks

• Di-n-pentyl phthalate – used in PVC plastics

• Alkanes C12-13, chloro – a short-chain chlorinated paraffin used as an industrial lubricant

The EPA indicates in a press release that these final SNURs will require anyone who wishes to manufacture (including import) or process these chemical substances for a significant new use to notify the EPA 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals. This notice will provide the agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of the chemicals and, if necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the activity.

The EPA adds that the incorporation of nine benzidine-based dyes into an existing SNUR will close a loophole to ensure that these chemicals and products containing them such as clothing cannot be imported without EPA review and possible restriction. The EPA has investigated safer dyes and colorants as alternatives to benzidine as part of its Safer Chemical Ingredients List and Design for the Environment program.

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