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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP)

N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) 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; NMP is on the Work Plan. In November 2019, EPA released the draft risk evaluation for NMP.

In the draft risk evaluation, EPA has made a preliminary determination that NMP does not present risks to the environment, bystanders, or occupational non-users. Additionally, the draft risk evaluation discusses how workers and consumers could be adversely affected by NMP under certain conditions of use. These initial determinations may change as EPA's evaluation becomes more refined through the public comment and peer review processes.

Learn about what EPA has done to manage risks on NMP.

On this page:


Chemical Description of NMP

NMP, also called N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, or 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, is a chemical that is widely used during the manufacture and production of polymers, pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals and petroleum products. Information from the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for NMP indicates the reported production volume is more than 160 million lbs/year (manufacture and import).

Uses Included in the Risk Evaluation, Problem Formulation, and Scope

In the draft risk evaluation, EPA looked at over 30 conditions of use associated with the manufacturing (including import), processing, distribution, use, and disposal of NMP. The primary uses include the following:

  • Adhesives and sealants
  • Solvent for cleaning or degreasing
  • Lubricant and lubricant additive
  • Paint and coating removers
  • Petrochemical manufacturing

In June 2017, EPA released the scope document for NMP which includes the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations EPA expects to consider in its risk evaluation of NMP conducted pursuant to TSCA section 6(b). In June 2018, EPA released the problem formulation for NMP which refined the scope of the NMP risk evaluation by clarifying the chemical uses 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 documents.

Draft Risk Evaluation

In November 2019, EPA released the draft risk evaluation for NMP. The Agency will be accepting comment until January 21, 2020 in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0236.

Review of NMP Prior to the Lautenberg Act

Prior to theFrank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, EPA completed a risk assessment for NMP and published the following information: