What Is the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory?
August 25, 2010 -- EPA added additional chemicals and chemical facilities to the TSCA Chemical Substances Inventory on this site.
May 17, 2010 -- As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's commitment to increase public access to information on chemicals, EPA has added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to EPA's public database called Envirofacts. Read the press release.
March 15, 2010 -- EPA is for the first time providing free access to the consolidated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory on its Web site. Also for the first time the Inventory is available at Data.gov as a dataset and as an extraction tool, which makes the data easier to manipulate. News release: EPA providing easy access to TSCA Inventory.
Under the Toxic Substances Control Act, section 8(b) provides EPA authority to "compile, keep current, and publish a list of each chemical substance that is manufactured or processed in the United States." TSCA section 3(2)(A) states that "the term 'chemical substance' means any organic or inorganic substance of a particular molecular identity, including - (i) any combination of such substances occurring in whole or in part as a result of a chemical reaction or occurring in nature, and (ii) any element or uncombined radical." TSCA does not include chemical substances subject to other US statutes such as foods and food additives, pesticides, drugs, cosmetics, tobacco, nuclear material, or munitions.
EPA published the final TSCA Inventory Reporting Rule on December 23, 1977. The initial reporting period was January to May of 1978, for chemical substances in commerce since January of 1975. The initial TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory was published in 1979; a second version was published in 1982 and included approximately 62,000 chemical substances provided to EPA during the initial and follow-up reporting periods. Through the addition of new chemicals in commercial TSCA applications in the U.S., there are more than 84,000 chemical substances, as defined in TSCA section 3(2)(A) -- among them organics, inorganics, polymers, and UVCBs (chemical substances of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products, and Biological materials) -- on the Inventory at this time.
Note: Having a Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number (CASRN) for a chemical does not equate to that chemical being listed on the TSCA Inventory.
How to Find a Chemical on the Inventory
To increase information on chemicals, EPA for the first time in March 2010, provided free access on its Web site (see links below) and at Data.gov to chemicals listed on the consolidated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substances Inventory, except those claimed as confidential under confidential business information (CBI) provisions of TSCA.
To search the non-confidential portion of the Inventory on the EPA Web site, companies and individuals may download:
Microsoft Access file of the Non-Confidential TSCA Inventory (Zip file; last created: 08/17/2010, file size: 3.6 MB)
Comma Separated Value (CSV) text file of the Non-Confidential TSCA Inventory (Zip file; last created: 08/17/2010, file size: 2.1 MB)
Other sources of non-confidential TSCA Inventory data include:
On Data.gov -- non-confidential portion of the Inventory presented as an extraction tool which allows you to select a data basket full of variables and then recode them in a form you desire. You can then develop and customize tables.
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Web site is the largest central resource for federal government information and publications. The NTIS provides non-confidential TSCA Inventory data in several products on CD-ROM for a nominal fee, including raw data and and searchable versions. These products are updated every six months.
Government Printing Office (GPO) Web site no longer provides paper copies of the original 1985 TSCA Chemicals Substances Inventory publication or the 1990 Supplement; however, its Catalog of U.S. Government Publications can find a nearby Federal Depository Library that has a particular historical publication or it can provide expert assistance in finding and using related U.S. government information.
EPA's Substance Registry Services (SRS) is an on-line chemical pointer system for EPA-regulated or -monitored substances. The non-confidential TSCA Inventory data in the SRS is updated every six months.
- Type "TSCA Inventory" in the List Name field
- Click the "filter" button and select "TSCA Inv (66068) - TSCA Inventory" from the drop-down list
- Complete the remainder of the search criteria information.
Several commercial services provide searches for the non-confidential Inventory for a fee. None of these is connected to or has a specific endorsement from EPA. As far as the Agency is aware, each uses the regularly-updated Inventory listings available from NTIS.
To search chemicals on the TSCA Inventory through the "Search by List" page:
How To Get a Determination from EPA on Whether a Chemical Is on the Inventory?
Companies that can demonstrate to EPA a "genuine intent" to manufacture or import specific chemical substances can obtain a written determination from the Agency on whether their substance matches the chemical identities of substances already on the TSCA Inventory master file (including those with confidential chemical identities) by submitting a Bona Fide Intent to Manufacture or Import Notice to the Agency.
What If a Chemical Is Not on the TSCA Inventory?
Substances on the TSCA Inventory are considered "existing" chemicals in U.S. commerce, and substances not on the TSCA Inventory are "new" chemicals. The TSCA Inventory must be consulted to determine if a specific substance is "new" or "existing."
If a substance is determined to be a "new" chemical substance for TSCA purposes, it is subject to TSCA section 5 Premanufacture Notice (PMN) requirements, unless the substance meets a TSCA reporting exclusion (e.g., is a naturally-occurring material) or is exempt from PMN reporting (e.g., is an exempted polymer). For substances that are "existing" chemical substances in U.S. commerce, the TSCA Inventory can be used to determine if there are restrictions on manufacture or use.
In some cases, a manufacturer may be intending to use reactants whose specific chemical identities are held confidential by their suppliers. In certain other cases, a potential importer may be intending to bring into the U.S. a substance whose identity is known only to its foreign manufacturer. In these cases, a letter of support from the domestic or foreign manufacturer of the confidential substances can be provided directly to EPA and should include specific chemical identity information. When using a Branded Material of Confidential Composition users will need information from their suppliers to ensure that they are and remain in compliance.
How Are Chemicals Added to the TSCA Inventory?
After PMN review has been completed, the company that submitted the PMN must provide a Notice of Commencement of Manufacture or Import (NOC) (EPA Form 7710-56) to EPA within 30 calendar days of the date the substance is first manufactured or imported for nonexempt commercial purposes. A chemical substance is considered to be on the TSCA Inventory and becomes an existing chemical as soon as a complete NOC is received by EPA. The Agency receives between 500 and 1,000 NOCs each year, thus the TSCA Inventory changes daily.
Non-PMN submissions (Low Volume Exemptions - LVEs, Low Release/Low Exposure Exemptions - LoREXs, Test Market Exemptions - TMEs) and exempt uses not subject to submission (R&D) do not require an NOC and are not listed on the TSCA Inventory.
In considering use of an existing chemical, a user will need to determine whether the substance is subject to other rules under TSCA. For this, consult the Chemicals on Reporting Rules Database (CORR), available as an electronic database from the TSCA Hot Line. New rules that control use of a substance will be published in the Federal Register.
Since the initial TSCA Inventory was compiled in 1979, EPA has developed numerous policy statement and guidance documents on how to identify certain chemical substances for the purpose of assigning unique and unambiguous descriptions for each substance listed on the Inventory. These include:
- Polymeric Substances
- Certain Chemical Substances Containing Varying Carbon Chain Lengths (Alkyl Ranges Using the Cx-y Notation)
- Combinations of Two or More Substances: Complex Reaction Products
- Products Containing Two or More Substances, Formulated and Statutory Mixtures
- Chemical Substances of Unknown or Variable Composition, Complex Reaction Products and Biological Materials (UVCB Substance)
Additionally, instructions for developing generic names for use in PMN submissions are found in TSCA Inventory, 1985 Edition, Appendix B: "Generic Names for Confidential Chemical Substance Identities" (PDF) (4 pp, 477K, about PDF).