EPA Releases Final Chemical Risk Evaluation for HBCD
For Release: September 24, 2020
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final risk evaluation for HBCD. Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is required to evaluate the risks associated with existing chemicals in commerce using the best available science before taking action to address any unreasonable risks. Today’s final risk findings complete the risk evaluation process required by TSCA for HBCD.
EPA used feedback received from the public and the scientific peer review process carried out by the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals to inform the final risk evaluation. The final risk evaluation for HBCD shows that there are unreasonable risks to the environment for 6 out of 12 conditions of use. EPA found unreasonable risks to workers and occupational non-users from the use and disposal of HBCD in building and construction materials. EPA did not find unreasonable risks to the general population or consumers.
The next step in the process required by TSCA is developing a plan to reduce or eliminate the unreasonable risks found in the final risk evaluation. EPA is moving immediately to risk management for this chemical and will work as quickly as possible to propose and finalize actions to protect workers, occupational non-users, and the environment.
There are several actions EPA could take to address these risks, including regulations on how the chemical is used, or limiting or prohibiting the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of this chemical, as applicable. As with any chemical product, EPA strongly recommends that users of products containing HBCD continue to carefully follow all instructions on the product’s label and safety data sheet.
HBCD is primarily used as a flame retardant in building materials like insulation, solder paste, recycled plastics, and automobile replacement parts.
This is the third final risk evaluation EPA has issued. The agency plans to issue final risk evaluations for the remaining 7 of the first 10 chemicals by the end of 2020.