EPA Releases the 2018 Plan for Chemical Risk Evaluations under TSCA

“As required under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, EPA has released the annual plan for chemical risk evaluations. The annual plan identifies the next steps for the first 10 chemical reviews currently underway and describes EPA’s work in 2018 to prepare for future risk evaluations.
EPA continues to make steady progress in meeting our statutory requirements under amended TSCA. EPA will initiate prioritization for 40 chemicals – at least 20 Low-Priority and 20 High-Priority candidates – by the end of calendar year 2018. By December 22, 2019, EPA will have designated 20 substances as Low-Priority and initiated risk evaluations on 20 High-Priority substances. In order to support these risk evaluations and other key aspects of TSCA implementation, EPA will be proposing a draft TSCA Fees Rule in early 2018 which will provide estimates of the resources required to undertake risk evaluations.
To learn more about all these actions, read the full plan.”

Proposals Requested for Cooperative Agreement to Train Healthcare Providers

“EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications from eligible parties to manage a cooperative agreement to help educate the medical community on how to recognize and treat pesticide-related health conditions. The long-term goal of the project is to achieve improved health for communities at risk for overexposure to pesticides through outreach, technical assistance and training to increase knowledge and awareness of environmental and occupational health risks.
This is a national environmental and occupational health effort solicited by doctors, clinicians, and state health departments. With this award, EPA seeks to build on the progress of the previous project titled “From the Fields to the Exam Room: Integrating the Recognition, Management and Prevention of Pesticide Poisonings into the Primary Care Setting.” The publication “Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisoning” was an earlier product of the initiative.
We are seeking applications to:
provide continuing education, training and technical assistance to relevant audiences;
update existing, and/or develop new materials and resource tools;
conduct outreach to existing and new audiences to use materials and tools; and
develop partnerships and a sustainable network of stakeholders.
EPA expects to provide up to $500,000 annually, depending on the agency’s budget, for a total of five years (2017 through 2022).
EPA must receive proposals through Grants.gov (search RFA opportunity ID # EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-003) no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on July 20, 2017. Read the funding opportunity PDF for more information on this request for applications.”
Click here for funding information.

National Poison Prevention Week – EPA Urges Public to Keep All Pesticides in Original Containers to Prevent Accidental Poisoning

“National Poison Prevention Week is March 19-25. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is highlighting the dangers of removing pesticides and other household chemicals from their original containers and storing them in bottles or cans that can be mistaken for drink. Poison Control Centers have reported cases of accidental poisonings from ingestion of chemical substances stored in soda and juice bottles and cans, coffee cups, baby bottles and various other beverage containers.
One of the simplest ways to prevent poisonings is to always keep products in their original containers. Product labels contain valuable use instructions and important precautions and first aid needed in case of an emergency.
National Poison Prevention Week is a time to raise awareness about simple steps that can be taken to prevent poisonings. Most poisonings happen in people’s homes and are preventable. Here are tips to reduce exposure:
Post the Poison Control Centers’ national helpline number, 1-800-222-1222, near your phone. Program the number into your phone’s “address book.”
Read the product label first and follow the directions to the letter.
Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to containers that may be mistaken for food or drink.
Re-close products if interrupted during application (e.g., phone call, doorbell, etc.).
Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
Make sure all of your household cleaning and pesticide products are stored out of children’s reach and use childproof locks on low cabinets.
Remove children, pets, and toys before applying pesticides (inside or outside the home). Follow label directions to determine when children and pets can re-enter the area that has been treated.
More information about poisoning prevention in your home:
See this for more information on poison-proofing your home and safely controlling pests in an around your home:

EPA Issues Nanomaterials Reporting Rule

“EPA issued a final regulation Jan. 11 requiring one-time reporting and recordkeeping of exposure and health and safety information on chemical substances at the nanoscale level. The information is to include the specific chemical identity, production volume, methods of manufacture and processing, exposure and release information, and existing information concerning environmental and health effects, “insofar as known to or reasonably ascertainable by the person making the report,” it states.

These are chemical substances that have structures with dimensions at the nanoscale — approximately 1-100 nanometers (nm); a human hair is approximately 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers wide.

The agency took the action pursuant to its authority under section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act, known as TSCA, as part of its efforts to ensure a more comprehensive understanding of nanoscale materials in commerce.”
Click here to read more!

For the First Time in 40 Years EPA is Putting in Place a Process to Evaluate Chemicals that May Pose Risk

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 9.42.30 AM
“New chemical law requires the agency to look at chemicals that were grandfathered in under old law WASHINGTON–The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is moving swiftly to propose how it will prioritize and evaluate chemicals, given that the final processes must be in place within the first year of the new law’s enactment, or before June 22, 2017.
“After 40 years we can finally address chemicals currently in the marketplace,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Today’s action will set into motion a process to swiftly evaluate chemicals and meet deadlines required under, and essential to, implementing the new law.”
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it grandfathered in thousands of unevaluated chemicals that were in commerce at the time. The old law failed to provide EPA with the tools to evaluate chemicals and to require companies to generate and provide data on chemicals they produced.
EPA is proposing three rules to help administer the new process. They are:
Inventory rule. There are currently over 85,000 chemicals on EPA’s Inventory, many of these are no longer actively produced. The rule will require manufacturers, including importers, to notify EPA and the public on the number of chemicals still being produced.
Prioritization rule. This will establish how EPA will prioritize chemicals for evaluation. EPA will use a risk-based screening process and criteria to identify whether a particular chemical is either high or low priority. A chemical designated as high-priority must undergo evaluation. Chemicals designated as low-priority are not required to undergo evaluation.
Risk Evaluation rule. This will establish how EPA will evaluate the risk of existing chemicals. The agency will identify steps for the risk evaluation process, including publishing the scope of the assessment. Chemical hazards and exposures will be assessed along with characterizing and determining risks. This rule also outlines how the agency intends to seek public comment on chemical evaluations.
These three rules incorporate comments received from a series of public meetings held in August 2016.
If EPA identifies unreasonable risk in the evaluation, it is required to eliminate that risk through regulations. Under TSCA the agency must have at least 20 ongoing risk evaluations by the end of 2019.
Comments on the proposed rules must be received 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register at: https://www.regulations.gov/ by searching for: HQ-OPPT-2016-0426 for the inventory rule; HQ-OPPT-2016-0636 for the prioritization rule; and HQ-OPPT-2016-0654 for the risk evaluation rule.”

New Inspection Manual Now Available

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 7.15.15 AM
“EPA’s Office of Compliance has revised the Inspection Manual for the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The RRP Inspection Manual establishes uniform guidance for EPA-credentialed inspectors who conduct inspections to monitor compliance with the RRP Rule. Compliance monitoring activities for the RRP Rule include work site inspections, records reviews of renovation firms, and auditing training provider courses that certify renovators.”
Click here to view the manual!

EPA Finalizes Reporting and Record Keeping Requirements on Nanoscale Materials

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements on nanoscale chemical substances in the marketplace. These substances are nano-sized versions of chemicals that are already in the marketplace. EPA seeks to facilitate innovation while ensuring safety of the substances. EPA currently reviews new chemical substances manufactured or processed as nanomaterials prior to introduction into the marketplace to ensure that they are safe. For the first time, EPA is using TSCA to collect existing exposure and health and safety information on chemicals currently in the marketplace when manufactured or processed as nanoscale materials. The companies will notify EPA of certain information:
specific chemical identity; · production volume; · methods of manufacture; processing, use, exposure, and release information; and, · available health and safety data.
Nanoscale materials have special properties related to their small size such as greater strength and lighter weight, however, they may take on different properties than their conventionally-sized counterpart. The information collection is not intended to conclude that nanoscale materials will cause harm to human health or the environment. Rather, EPA will use the information gathered to determine if any further action under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), including additional information collection, is needed. The reporting requirements are being issued under the authority of section 8(a) under TSCA. EPA proposed and took comment on this rule.

Persons who manufacture or process a reportable chemical substance during the three years prior to the final effective date of this rule must report to EPA within a year of the rule’s publication.”

Read the rule.

Learn more about nanoscale materials under TSCA.

Addition of Natural Gas Processing Facilities to the Toxics Release Inventory Proposed Rule

“EPA is proposing to add natural gas processing facilities to the scope of the industrial sectors covered by the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). This rule proposes to expand coverage to all natural gas processing facilities, which receive and refine natural gas. Natural gas processing facilities that primarily recover sulfur from natural gas are already covered by TRI. Facilities primarily engaged in natural gas extraction (e.g., exploration, fracking, etc.) are not included in this proposal.
Adding these facilities to the TRI would increase the publically available information on chemical releases and other waste management activities of TRI listed chemicals from the natural gas processing sector, while furthering the goals of section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.”
Click here to read more!

EPA Finalizes Human Health Risk Assessment for Pesticide Used on Pets

“EPA has finalized the human health risk assessment of tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP). TCVP is an organophosphate insecticide used to control fleas, ticks, and other pests on and around pets and livestock. It is used in residential products like pet collars.
Through the publication of the revised human health risk assessment and related documents, we are addressing a 2009 Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) petition.
This risk assessment identified potential risks to people, including children, in residential settings and to certain workers applying TCVP, which exceed the Agency’s level of concern.
The Agency has contacted the pesticide manufacturers to initiate discussions with them to reduce exposure and resolve potential risks identified in the human health risk assessment. The Agency will issue a Proposed Decision in 2017 for public comment. Until that time, it is important to follow label instructions on proper use of pesticide products.
We advise consumers to take certain precautions when handling TCVP products in residential areas. These precautions are listed on TCVP product labels, including:
not allowing children to play with TCVP pet collar products,
keeping TCVP spray and powder products out of reach of children, and
washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling.
To view TCVP’s human health risk assessment and other registration review documents, visit regulations.gov, docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0316. (https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0316)
More information on:
– tetrachlorvinphos (https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/tetrachlorvinphos-tcvp)
– protecting your pets form fleas and ticks (https://www.epa.gov/pets)
– reducing your child’s chances of pesticide poisoning (https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/reduce-your-childs-chances-pesticide-poisoning).”

EPA Takes Action to Prevent Poisonings from Herbicide


“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing safety measures to stop poisonings caused by ingestion of the herbicide paraquat, which can also cause severe injuries or death from skin or eye exposure.

Since 2000, there have been 17 deaths – three involving children – caused by accidental ingestion of paraquat. These cases have resulted from the pesticide being illegally transferred to beverage containers and later mistaken for a drink and consumed. A single sip can be fatal. To prevent these tragedies, EPA is requiring:
new closed-system packaging designed to make it impossible to transfer or remove the pesticide except directly into the proper application equipment;
special training for certified applicators who use paraquat to emphasize that the chemical must not be transferred to or stored in improper containers; and
changes to the pesticide label and warning materials to highlight the toxicity and risks associated with paraquat.
In addition to the deaths by accidental ingestion, since 2000 there have been three deaths and many severe injuries caused by the pesticide getting onto the skin or into the eyes of those working with the herbicide. To reduce exposure to workers who mix, load and apply paraquat, EPA is restricting the use of paraquat to certified pesticide applicators only. Uncertified individuals working under the supervision of a certified applicator will be prohibited from using paraquat.
Paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. for the control of weeds in many agricultural and non-agricultural settings and is also used as a defoliant on crops such as cotton prior to harvest.
EPA proposed similar measures last March and took public comment.
Actions on specific pesticides are one way that EPA is protecting workers from pesticide exposure. EPA’s Final Certification and Training and Worker Protection Standard rules will also protect pesticide applicators and farmworkers.

Learn more about paraquat and the new measures to reduce risk: https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/paraquat-dichloride

Learn about EPA’s Certification and Training Rule: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/revised-certification-standards-pesticide-applicators

Learn about EPA’s Worker Protection Standard: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/revisions-worker-protection-standard

To view the docket on www.regulations.gov: EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0855-0112 “