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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for Carbon Tetrachloride

Carbon tetrachloride is currently undergoing risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The 2016 amendments to TSCA directed EPA to pick its first ten chemicals for evaluation from the 2014 update of the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments; carbon tetrachloride is on the Work Plan. In January 2020, EPA released the draft risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride.

In the draft risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride, EPA did not find unreasonable risk to the environment under any of the conditions of use or to workers when appropriate personal protective equipment is used. Additionally, the draft risk evaluation discusses potential risks to occupational non-users (those workers in the vicinity of the chemical’s use but not directly working with the chemical). These initial determinations may change as our evaluation becomes more refined through the public comment and peer review processes.

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Chemical Description of Carbon Tetrachloride

Carbon tetrachloride is a solvent used primarily as a feedstock in the production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons and hydrofluoroolefins and as a process agent in the manufacturing of other chlorinated compounds and petrochemicals-derived and agricultural products. There are no consumer uses of this chemical. Information from the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for carbon tetrachloride indicates the yearly reported production volume is more than 117 to 143 lbs/year (manufacture and import).

Conditions of Use Included in the Risk Evaluation, Problem Formulation, and Scope

In the draft risk evaluation, EPA evaluated 15 conditions of use associated with the manufacturing (including import), processing, distribution, use, and disposal of carbon tetrachloride. Uses include the following:

  • Agricultural products manufacturing
  • Manufacturing of chlorinated compounds
  • Repackaging for use in laboratory chemicals
  • Industrial and commercial use in metal recovery

In June 2017, EPA released the scope document for carbon tetrachloride which included the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations EPA expected to consider in its risk evaluation of carbon tetrachloride conducted pursuant to TSCA section 6(b). In June 2018, EPA released the problem formulation for carbon tetrachloride which refined the scope of the carbon tetrachloride risk evaluation by clarifying the chemical conditions of use that EPA expected to evaluate and describing how EPA expected to conduct the evaluation.

After releasing the scope documents for each of the first 10 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation under TSCA, the dockets for each of these first 10 chemicals were open for public comments. Read EPA’s Responses to Public Comments Received on the Scope Documents for the First Ten Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under TSCA. This document addresses cross-cutting public comments received in response to the scope document.

Draft Risk Evaluation

In January 2020, EPA released the draft risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride. Upong publication of the Federal Register notice, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft risk evaluation for 60 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0499.