The EPA has named the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risk to human health

The EPA has named the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risk to human health

The US Environmental Protection Agency has named the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risk to human health using new powers granted by Congress last spring.

Congress amended the Toxic Substances Control Act in May, with the reforms creating a uniform national chemical management standard aimed at both protecting consumers and providing regulatory predictability for businesses. They have also streamlined the assessment process, promote more uniform regulations, and provide clarity so that consumers can know the products they use are safe.

"Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace," says Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. "We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment."

The first ten chemicals to be evaluated, some of which are used in the textile industry, are: 1,4-Dioxane, 1-Bromopropane, Asbestos, Carbon Tetrachloride, Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster, Methylene Chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone, Pigment Violet 29, Tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene) and Trichloroethylene. 

Once the list is published in the Federal Register it will trigger a statutory deadline to complete risk evaluations for these chemicals within three years. The evaluation will determine whether the chemicals present an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment. If it is determined that they do, the EPA must then mitigate that risk within two years.

The legislation is the first significant update to federal chemicals safety law in 40 years, and is supported by US-based apparel and footwear retailers, brands and importers.

Reforms to US chemical regulations signed into law