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Proposal to Delist Methylethyl Ketone as Regulated Toxic Air Pollutant

Release Date: 05/22/2003
Contact Information:

David Deegan 202-564-7839/

(05/22/03) EPA is proposing to remove methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) from the Clean Air Act’s list of 188 hazardous air pollutants emitted from large industrial facilities. Since 1996, the Agency has exhaustively reviewed the potential health and environmental effects that could result from exposure to MEK emitted from industrial facilities, and EPA has concluded that the sources of exposure regulated by the Clean Air Act are not likely to cause adverse human health or environmental problems. The health effects information on MEK that EPA used to make this decision has undergone independent scientific peer review. MEK is used as a solvent in the surface coatings industry. Industries also use MEK for producing adhesives, magnetic tapes, printing inks, degreasing and cleaning fluids, antioxidants, and perfumes. The Agency’s proposed delisting of MEK as a hazardous air pollutant does not affect other ways this chemical will be regulated. MEK will continue to be regulated as a volatile organic compound because of its contribution to smog. In addition, MEK emissions would still be reported as part of EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory. This proposal is open to public comment for 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.