An official website of the United States government.

News Releases from HeadquartersChemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)

EPA Takes Three Important Steps to Ensure Chemical Safety Under the Lautenberg Act, Proposes Action on Asbestos

Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing the following for public comment: (1) the first ten problem formulation documents, (2) EPA’s systemic review approach document, and (3) a significant new use rule (SNUR) proposal enabling the Agency to prevent new uses of asbestos – the first such action on asbestos ever proposed.

These actions provide the American people with transparency and an opportunity to comment on how EPA plans to evaluate the ten chemicals undergoing risk evaluation, select studies, and use the best available science to ensure chemicals in the marketplace are safe,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “At the same time, we are moving forward to take important, unprecedented action on asbestos.”

The problem formulation documents refine the scope of risk evaluations for the first ten chemicals selected under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Agency’s problem formulation documents are an important interim step prior to completing and publishing the final risk evaluations by December 2019. They clarify the chemical uses that EPA expects to evaluate and describe how EPA expects to conduct the evaluations. Read the documents. Comments are due in 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register.

EPA’s systematic review approach document will guide EPA’s selection and review of studies in addition to providing the public with continued transparency regarding how the Agency plans to evaluate scientific information. Read the document. Comments are due in 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register (Docket: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0210).

For asbestos, EPA is proposing a SNUR for certain uses of asbestos (including asbestos-containing goods) that would require manufacturers and importers to receive EPA approval before starting or resuming manufacturing, and importing or processing of asbestos. This review process would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of asbestos and, when necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the use. Read the document. Comments are due in 60 days upon publication in the Federal Register (Docket: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159).

Additional Information:

Upon publication in the Federal Register you can comment in each of the chemical’s respective dockets below:

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act required EPA to select the first ten chemicals to undergo risk evaluations. These ten chemicals were announced on December 16, 2016. As required, EPA issued corresponding scope documents on June 22, 2017, for these chemicals, which describe the scope of the risk evaluation to be conducted, including the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations that the Agency expects to consider. The problem formulation documents EPA issued today refine those scope documents.

Read more about EPA’s actions under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act.

Read about EPA’s risk evaluation process.