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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Draft Risk Evaluation for Carbon Tetrachloride

In the draft carbon tetrachloride risk evaluation, EPA reviewed 15 potential uses, all of which are associated with industrial and commercial work and are primarily associated with the manufacturing process of other chemicals. There are no consumer uses of this chemical. Below are the draft risk evaluation and support documents for carbon tetrachloride.

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, the agency will accept comments on the draft risk evaluation for 60 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0499. EPA also will hold a peer review meeting of EPA’s Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) on the draft risk evaluation for this chemical’s conditions of use on February 25-26, 2020.

To prepare a draft risk evaluation, EPA reviews extensive scientific literature, conducts modeling and other risk assessment activities, and collects exposure, fate, and transport information from many sources. EPA looks at how the chemical is used today, what we know about the chemical’s fate, transport, and toxicity, and whether any of the chemical’s uses could pose unreasonable risk to human health or the environment under the known conditions. Learn more about EPA’s risk evaluation process

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Draft Risk Evaluation Findings

In the January 2020 draft risk evaluation, EPA reviewed a suite of potential carbon tetrachloride exposures and made the following initial determinations on risk. These preliminary determinations may change as EPA's evaluation becomes more refined through the public comment and peer review processes.

EPA did not find risk to the environment or workers. For all the conditions of use included in the draft risk evaluation, EPA has preliminarily found no unreasonable risks to the environment under any of the conditions of use or to workers when appropriate personal protective equipment is used.

EPA’s draft risk evaluation preliminarily found unreasonable risks associated chronic inhalation exposure for occupational non-users. EPA found that occupational non-users (those workers in the vicinity of the chemical’s use but not directly working with the chemical)  could be adversely affected by carbon tetrachloride under certain conditions of use. These initial determinations are based on a draft risk evaluation of the reasonably available information and are not EPA’s final determinations on whether this chemical presents unreasonable risks under the conditions of use. The Agency will use feedback received from the public comment and peer review processes to inform the final risk determinations. 

This draft risk evaluation and the initial risk determinations are not a final action. This draft represents the Agency’s preliminary conclusions, findings, and determinations on carbon tetrachloride and will be peer reviewed by independent scientific experts. The draft risk evaluation includes input from other EPA offices as well as other federal agencies.

Using Products Safely and Alternatives

For any chemical product, EPA strongly recommends that users carefully follow all instructions on the product’s label and on the safety data sheets. Workers using carbon tetrachloride products should continue to follow the label/safety data sheets and applicable workplace regulations and should properly use appropriate personal protective equipment, as needed. Additionally, safety data sheets developed by the manufacturer remind users to only use the product in well-ventilated areas.  

Public Participation, Peer Review, and Next Steps

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, the agency will accept comments on the draft risk evaluation for 60 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0499. This public comment period is an opportunity for the public to submit any additional information to assist EPA in completing the final risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride. EPA will consider all comments submitted on the draft risk evaluation when developing a final risk evaluation.

EPA is committed to being open and transparent as the agency follows the process required by the law for evaluating unreasonable risks from chemicals. EPA will continue to keep the public updated as the agency moves through the risk evaluation process. Following the comprehensive risk evaluation process required by TSCA ensures that EPA has confidence in our final conclusions about whether a chemical substance poses any unreasonable risks to health or the environment under the specific conditions of use. This then allows the public to have confidence in the safety of chemicals on the market.

The next step in the risk evaluation process is public participation. EPA is asking the public to provide input on the draft risk evaluation to ensure that the Agency is using the best available science and making decisions based on the weight of scientific evidence.

The draft risk evaluation was peer reviewed by a panel of independent, scientific experts on February 25-26, 2020. EPA goes beyond what TSCA requires by peer reviewing the risk evaluations it releases in order to increase public transparency in the risk evaluation process and receive expert feedback on the science that underlies the risk determinations. Learn more about the peer review.

EPA’s preliminary risk determinations may change in response to comments from the public and from scientific experts conducting a peer review on the draft risk evaluation. If EPA’s final risk evaluation finds there are unreasonable risks associated with this chemical under the specific conditions of use, the Agency will propose actions to address any unreasonable risks within the timeframe required by TSCA. This could include proposed regulations to prohibit or limit the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of this chemicals, as applicable.

Draft Risk Evaluation and Supporting Files

Supplemental Information File: Occupational Risk Calculations(206 K)

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