EPA ODS Laboratory and Analytical Use Initiative
The global laboratory and analytical use exemption allows continued production and import of small amounts of ODS for use in laboratory and analytical methods. This exemption is unique in that all laboratory and analytical uses are permitted under the exemption except for the procedures specifically identified as having known alternatives for achieving the desired analytical results. This ‘negative list’ of procedures is determined by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.
The Parties to the Montreal Protocol recently extended the global laboratory and analytical use exemption from December 31, 2010, until December 31, 2014. However, despite this extension, there is increasing international pressure to move laboratories away from using ozone-depleting substances (ODS). As a first step, in 2010, the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) recommended that 15 new procedures be removed from the laboratory and analytical use exemption.
- TEAP findings of feasible alternatives in analytical procedures from the 2009 TEAP Progress Report (PDF, 5 pp., 77 KB)
- Details of laboratory and analytical uses of ODS from the 2010 TEAP Progress Report (PDF, 13 pp., 123 KB)
The laboratory and analytical use exemptions are based on negotiations between the Parties to the Montreal Protocol; in order for EPA to be prepared for future negotiations and to ensure that the United States obtains essential amounts of ODS for laboratory and analytical uses, EPA needs specific information to defend laboratory and analytical uses of ODS. Therefore, EPA has launched an initiative to gather information on:
- The current status of laboratory and analytical uses that employ ODS
- The extent to which alternatives exist
- The feasibility of transitioning to non-ODS alternatives
- How to make the transition go faster
- What can be done to foster changes in laboratory standards
Over the course of this year and into the next, EPA will be actively engaging all relevant stakeholders in this initiative. Relevant stakeholders include, but may not be limited to, laboratories that use of ODS in laboratory and analytical procedures, laboratory distributors of ODS, standard setting bodies, and trade associations.
If you are a laboratory that employs ODS for analytical and laboratory uses, please take a moment to read and respond to the following letter. Additional input from any stakeholder is also encouraged and can be sent via e-mail to either Tom Land or the ODS Laboratory Uses mailbox.