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EPA Continuing to Consider Import Restrictions for Chemicals Used in Consumer Products

Monday, February 23, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Environmental Protection Agency is extending from March 16 to April 30 the period for public comments on a proposed rule that would impose import restrictions on seven toluene diisocyanates and related compounds. These chemicals are widely used in residual amounts in the production of polyurethanes and consumer products such as coatings, elastomers, adhesives and sealants and can be found in products used in and around homes or schools. The EPA is extending the comment period on this proposal in light of comments asserting that there may be significant implications for the supply chain.

The proposed significant new use rule would require manufacturers (including importers) to notify the EPA at least 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals in consumer products, with a proposed exception for the use of certain chemical substances in coatings, elastomers, adhesives, binders and sealants that result in 0.1 percent by weight or less of toluene diisocyanates in a consumer product. This would give the EPA the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of the chemicals and, if necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the activity. The proposed rule would also apply the advance notification requirement to importers and processors of these chemical substances as part of articles (manufactured goods).

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