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Chemical Data Reporting (CDR)

2012 Chemical Data Reporting Results

2012 CDR Data Overview
  • 7,690 chemicals
  • 4,785 sites
  • 1,626 companies

June 11, 2014-EPA updated the 2012 CDR fact sheets to reflect information reported to EPA since June 2013. EPA will update the fact sheets as needed.

Snapshot of 2012 CDR Data: Top Chemical Uses

EPA summarized key information from the 2012 Chemical Data Reporting effort. Read an overview of the chemical manufacturing, processing, and use information collected.

On this page:

2012 CDR Data Overview: Basic Information
Get this information presented as a fact sheet (PDF) (3 pp., 344 kb) About PDF

Chemicals are used to make most of the products that we rely on in our daily lives. When used safely, chemicals significantly contribute to the improvement of our quality of life, health, and well-being. With such widespread use of chemicals, we also need to understand the risks that chemicals may pose. To carry out this responsibility set forth by Congress, EPA collects information on the types and quantities of chemicals produced in the United States under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirements in section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The following provides key information about CDR, including what data are collected and how the data are used.


Under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, EPA collects manufacturing, processing, and use information about chemicals in commerce in the United States. For the 2012 CDR submission period, manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemicals were required to report information about those chemicals manufactured (including imported) in amounts of 25,000 lbs or more at each of their sites during calendar year 2011.

Why Does EPA Collect Data on Chemicals?

CDR constitutes the most comprehensive source of basic screening-level, exposure-related information on chemicals available to EPA. The data allows EPA to construct an in-depth picture of the types, amount, end uses, and possible exposure to chemicals in commerce. The data includes information on the manufacture (including import), industrial processing and use, and consumer and commercial use of certain chemicals currently listed on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory), which is a list of chemicals that are manufactured (including imported) or processed in the United States. EPA uses the data to inform chemical risk screening, assessment, priority setting, and management activities.

The Basics

Who reported in 2012?

Manufacturers (including importers) of chemicals that are listed on the TSCA Inventory and produced in volumes of 25,000 pounds or more at a site during calendar year 2011 were required to report.

When was reporting required?

The 2012 submission period closed on August 13, 2012. The current reporting frequency is every four years. The next submission period will be in 2016. The submission period prior to 2012 was in 2006.

What was reported in 2012?
  • 2010 and 2011 annual production volume of each reportable chemical
  • Additional manufacturing information for 2011
  • Processing and use data for 2011 for all reportable chemicals when 2011 site-specific production volume equaled or exceeded 100,000 pounds. Note: Processing and use data include both industrial (e.g., chemical-specific industrial function categories, number of sites) and consumer and commercial use information (e.g., chemical-specific product categories, whether the chemical was used in products intended for children).

How Does EPA Use the Data?

EPA uses the data gathered from CDR to support many health, safety, and environmental protection activities related to chemical manufacturing. Processing and use information will help EPA, other agencies, and the general public to readily screen and prioritize chemicals for the purpose of identifying potential human health and environmental exposure and risks.

What’s Different from the Data Collection in 2006?

To improve the information reported, beginning with the 2012 CDR submission period, manufacturers (including importers) were subject to revised reporting requirements. CDR’s improved reporting requirements will enhance the Agency’s ability to more effectively identify and address potential risks. Some of the significant changes in reporting requirements are:

  • Manufacturers (including importers) were required to report production volume for 2011 (in addition to 2010) and additional manufacturing information, such as volume used on site, volume exported, and whether the chemical was recycled.
  • The production volume reporting threshold for processing and use information was lowered to 100,000 lbs or greater from 300,000 lbs or greater.
  • A revised list of consumer and commercial product categories were used to report consumer and commercial uses separately, to distinguish between the use types and to allow EPA and the public to better understand what is in children’s products. For the purposes of CDR, “consumer use” means the use of a chemical or a mixture containing a chemical (including as part of a manufactured item, or article, such as furniture or clothing) when sold to or made available to consumers for their use. “Commercial use” means the use of a chemical or a mixture containing a chemical (including as part of an article) in a commercial enterprise, such as dry cleaning. “Industrial use” means use at a site at which one or more chemicals or mixtures are manufactured (including imported) or processed.
  • Upfront substantiation was required for confidentiality claims for each processing and use data element, consistent with previous requirements for confidentiality claims for chemical and site identity.

Comparison between 2006 and 2012 Submission Periods

Number of… 2006 2012
Total Form U’s Reported* 4,351 4,785
Companies Reporting 1,677 1,626
Sites Reporting 4,351 4,785
Chemicals Reported 7,080 7,690
Chemicals Reported as Domestically Manufactured 4,388 5,115
Chemicals Reported as Imported 2,886 3,568
Chemicals with Downstream Processing and Use Information 3,635 5,666
Chemicals with Reported Industrial Process and Use Information 3,591 5,594
Chemicals with Reported Consumer/Commercial Use Information (total) 2,547 3,271
      Consumer Use Only** -- 179
      Commercial Use Only** -- 1,574
      Commercial and Consumer Use 2,547 1,518
Chemicals Reported as Used in Children’s Products 215 355

*Manufacturers (including importers) are required to submit one “Form U” report per site. Where more than one chemical is produced at a site, the report contains information for multiple chemicals.
**This information was not separately reported in 2006.

Factors to Consider When Using the Database
Get this information presented as a fact sheet (PDF) (3 pp., 198 kb.) About PDF

Using CDR to Screen Chemicals

The CDR data provides information on chemical manufacturing, processing, and use. To determine potential exposures and risks to human health and the environment, EPA combines CDR data with information on:

  • Toxicity of the chemical
  • Potential releases
  • Site-specific conditions

CDR reporting is triggered by the amount of a chemical manufactured (including imported), rather than the hazard or potential exposures associated with a chemical. Understanding reporting thresholds of manufactured (including imported) chemicals that trigger reporting is important when using and interpreting the 2012 CDR data.

  • Determination of the need to report in 2012 was based on whether 2011 site-specific production volume met or exceeded 25,000 lbs.
  • For all reportable chemicals, manufacturers (including importers) were required to report in 2012 full manufacturing data for calendar year 2011 and production volume only for calendar year 2010.
  • The reporting threshold in 2012 was 100,000 lbs or greater for manufacturers (including importers) to report processing and use information.

Due to these reporting thresholds, totals of CDR production volumes reported for 2012 may underestimate the actual total amount manufactured and imported in the United States, particularly if there are a substantial number of sites that manufacture (including import) the chemical in quantities less than 25,000 lbs per year. When comparing changes in production over time at the site, particularly on the regional or national levels, it is important to take into account changes in the reporting thresholds across the years of available data.

Confidential Business Information

The 2012 CDR public database provides non-confidential information on the manufacturing, processing, and use of chemicals in commerce in the United States. It is important for users of the CDR public database to understand what data submitters can claim as confidential business information (CBI), and the way in which the public database has been aggregated and masked to protect CBI.

Submitters may designate individual CDR data elements as CBI when they report information. However, chemical identity may only be claimed confidential if the chemical is listed on the confidential portion of the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory). Processing and use data elements can be claimed as CBI if a manufacturer (including importer) believes that the release of information will reveal trade secrets or confidential commercial or financial information. Submitters are required to provide upfront substantiations of confidentiality claims for chemical identity, site identification, and processing and use information by answering a series of questions in the reporting form. A blank response or a response that is designated as “not known or reasonably ascertainable” may not be claimed as confidential.

Production volume may also be designated as CBI. If all the production volumes of a chemical were not claimed as CBI, the public CDR database presents specific values for individual and nationally aggregated production volumes for that chemical. If most or all of the production volumes reported for a given chemical substance were claimed as CBI, the individual CBI production volumes are not reported and nationally aggregated production volumes are reported as point values, ranges, or withheld, based on the number of reporting sites.

In preparing the CDR public database, EPA takes care to avoid release of CBI while also publishing as much information as possible. Users examining individual records will notice CBI protected entries in particular data fields. When using aggregated CDR data, users should recognize that they do not have access to the complete set of data.

Chemicals Exempt from Reporting

Manufacturers (including importers) may not be required to report information on certain chemicals to CDR because of the type of chemical or because of the manner of manufacture (including import) or use of the chemical.

  • Chemicals manufactured (including imported) for non-TSCA uses are not required to be reported (e.g., pesticides are exempt from regulation by TSCA). If a portion of a manufacturer’s (including importer’s) production is not subject to TSCA (for example, if the use is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration), then the production associated with the non-TSCA second use will not be reported to CDR. Note that manufacturers may report downstream non-TSCA uses for their chemical.
  • Generally, water and naturally occurring substances are exempt from CDR requirements. Three other groups of chemicals (polymers, microorganisms, and certain forms of natural gas) are also generally exempt from CDR requirements. It is important to note that a particular polymer, microorganism, or form of natural gas may not be exempt if the chemical becomes the subject of certain TSCA actions, such as an Enforceable Consent Agreement.
  • Chemicals that are non-isolated intermediates, imported as part of an article, impurities, or byproducts destined for certain commercial uses are exempt from reporting.

Manufacturers Exempt from Reporting

Small manufacturers (including importers) who meet one of the following requirements are generally exempt from CDR requirements if:

  • Total sales during 2011, combined with those of the parent company, domestic or foreign (if any), are less than $4 million; or
  • Total sales during 2011 of the parent company, domestic or foreign (if any), are less than $40 million and annual production volume of a qualifying chemical substance does not exceed 100,000 pounds at any individual plant site. If the annual production volume of the chemical substance at any particular site is more than 100,000 pounds, the manufacturer is required to report for that particular site.

Reporting in Ranges

The following data elements are reported as ranges to reduce the industry reporting burden:

  • Manufacturing Information:
    • Number of workers reasonably likely to be exposed to chemical
    • Maximum concentration of chemical
  • Processing and Use Information:
    • Percent production volume for each product category
    • Maximum concentration for each product category
    • Number of commercial workers reasonably likely to be exposed to chemical

Processing and Use Information

Often the processing and use of chemicals is not under the control of the manufacturers (including importers); therefore they might have incomplete knowledge of these activities. Manufacturers (including importers) were required to report processing and use information that was known to or reasonably ascertainable by them. They were not required to collect information from their customers about end uses. Also, CDR submitters were not required to report the quantities exported. As a result of these factors, the processing and use information in the CDR public database presents only a limited picture of the actual processing and use situation in the United States.

The CDR data described in these factsheets are a sub-set of the complete CDR data because confidential business information is not included. The figures presented herein may be an underestimate.


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