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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for p-Dichlorobenzene

EPA designated p-dichlorobenzene as a high priority chemical in December 2019 and the chemical is currently undergoing risk evaluation.

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Background on p-Dichlorobenzene

p-Dichlorobenzene (CASRN 106-46-7) is a colorless to white crystalline solid. It has a strong pungent odor. The primary uses for p-dichlorobenzene are in the manufacturing of plastic material and other chemicals manufacturing and as an odor agent in several products. Information from the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for p-dichlorobenzene indicates the reported production volume is between 50 million and 100 million lbs/year.

Uses of p-Dichlorobenzene

In the final scope, EPA identified conditions of use associated with the importing; processing; distribution in commerce; industrial, commercial and consumer uses; and disposal of p-dichlorobenzene, for example:

  • As reactant in plastic material and resin manufacturing;
  • During the process of manufacturing pesticides, fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals, and as odor agents in wholesale and retail trade;
  • As deodorizer or air freshener (including toilet and garbage deodorizers);
  • In automotive care products and lubricants and greases (e.g., automotive fuel additives); and
  • In plastic foam sealant or insulation.

The above listed conditions of use are ways that a person or the environment could be potentially exposed to this chemical. However, when conducting a risk evaluation, EPA also considers the hazards (i.e. health effects or environmental impacts) that could occur from coming in contact with a chemical.

Recent activities and opportunities for public comment

In August 2020, EPA published a final scope document outlining the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations the agency expects to consider in its risk evaluation. The agency released the draft scope in April 2020 and took public comments on the draft document.

As EPA continues to move through the risk evaluation process there will be additional opportunities for public comment, including a public comment period on the draft risk evaluation. In addition to public comment periods, EPA will continue to engage with stakeholders as it refines the risk evaluation and stakeholders should reach out to EPA via the staff contact to engage with the agency.