Managing Chemical Risks
- Identifying TSCA Work Plan Chemicals
- Current Chemical Risk Management Actions
- Pollution Prevention Programs
- Relevant Sections of TSCA
EPA manages risks from existing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, and encourages pollution prevention under the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) through both regulatory and voluntary programs.
Identifying TSCA Work Plan ChemicalsAs a continuation of EPA’s comprehensive approach to enhance the Agency’s existing chemicals management, in March 2012 EPA identified a work plan of 83 chemicals for further assessment under TSCA. EPA identified seven of these chemicals for risk assessment in 2012. EPA intends to use the TSCA Work Plan Chemicals to help focus and direct the activities of the Existing Chemicals Program over the next several years. Read about the TSCA Work Plan Chemicals.
Current Chemical Risk Management Actions
EPA is continuing to pursue risk management steps on specific chemicals described in the Existing Chemicals Action Plans published from 2009 through 2011. Chemicals for which action plans have been posted include:
- Benzidine Dyes (August 2010)
- Bisphenol A (BPA) (March 2010)
- Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) (August 2010)
- Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI) (April 2011)
- Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (August 2010)
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs, including PFOA) (December 2009)
- Penta, octa, and decabromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in products (December 2009)
- Phthalates (March 2012)
- Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (December 2009)
- Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) (April 2011)
Some regulatory measures taken under TSCA apply to specific chemical substances and involve coordination with other federal agencies or with other laws administered by EPA. Learn more about EPA's activities relating to:
- HPV Unsponsored Chemicals (SNUR, test rules, Section 8(a)/8(d) Rules)
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Pollution Prevention Programs
EPA also uses voluntary programs to encourage both pollution prevention and risk reduction. Some of these programs apply to a wide variety of chemicals and industries.
Design for the Environment (DfE) works in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders to reduce risk to people and the environment by preventing pollution. The DfE Safer Product Labeling Program empowers consumers and industrial purchasers to make informed choices about safer household and cleaning products by allowing the use of the label on safer chemical products. This program also offers manufacturers assistance in selecting safer chemicals for cleaning products.
The 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Program involves a global commitment by eight major companies to reduce both facility emissions and product content of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) by 95 percent by 2010, and to work toward elimination of the chemical by 2015.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) helps the federal government "buy green," and in doing so, uses the federal government's enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products and services.
Green Chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.
E3:Economy, Energy and the Environment brings together federal agencies, states and local communities to strengthen small-to-medium sized American manufacturers.
Green Suppliers Network, which is now a part of E3:Economy, Energy and the Environment, works with large manufacturers to engage their small-and medium-sized suppliers in low-cost technical reviews that focus on process improvement and waste minimization.
Relevant Sections of TSCASpecific sections of TSCA grant authority for EPA to require risk management measures, provide for the coordination of activities under TSCA with other Federal agencies and with other laws administered by EPA, and give citizens the opportunity to petition for action.
TSCA Section 4 provides that EPA can issue rules to require companies to generate hazard and exposure information through specific tests or measurements on chemicals in certain circumstances.
TSCA Section 5(a) Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) can be used to require notice to EPA before either new or existing chemical substances and mixtures are used in new ways that might create concerns.
TSCA Section 5(b)(4) provides that EPA can compile and keep current a list of chemical substances that present or may present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment.
TSCA Section 6 provides for the regulation of hazardous existing chemical substances and mixtures.
TSCA Section 9 governs the relationship of TSCA to other Federal laws.
TSCA Section 21 allows citizens to petition EPA to take specific regulatory actions on chemicals and mixtures under TSCA.