Manufacturers or importers of 19 chemicals must now test the health and environmental effects of the substances and make the information public, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The chemicals include diphenylmethanone, which goes in personal-care and other consumer products; 9, 10-anthracenedione, used to make dyes; C12-C24 chloroalkenes, which go in metal fabrication; pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, used for demolition; and leuco sulfur black, used for fingerprinting.
In light of the new federal regulations, the American Chemistry Council, an industry group, supports the action as an extension of an existing EPA program in which chemical makers have been voluntarily reporting health and environmental effects of heavily used chemicals, said Scott Jenson, a spokesman.
The EPA’s move comes as the European Union moves forward with 2007 regulations aimed at removing chemicals found to be toxic to human health, or the environment, and replacing them with non-toxic substances, and as California regulators finalize similar “green chemistry” rules.
“This chemical data reporting will provide EPA with critical information to better evaluate any potential risks from these chemicals that are being produced in large quantities in this country,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The 19 chemicals are among more than 2,200 chemicals produced or imported in the U.S. in large volumes every year. In recent years, the EPA has asked chemical makers and importers to voluntarily provide information to the public on health and environmental effects of potentially toxic chemicals that they make or import in quantities of one million pounds a year or more.