Diversified Industrials

Performance Chemistries Weekly – 3.18.21

1-4-Dioxane:

  • According to Bloomberg Law, the European Union is taking a “two-track approach” to limit the presence of 1,4-dioxane in the environment. On Wednesday, March 17, the European Chemicals Agency called for information to be submitted through June 17 on the production and use of the chemical, in anticipation of a potential restriction under the EU’s REACH law. Secondly, the outlet notes that comments can be submitted through April 23 on a plan to designate 1,4-dioxane as a substance of “very high concern” under REACH.

Trichloroethylene (TCE):

  • According to Chemical & Engineering News, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) sent a letter on Tuesday, March 16 to EPA regarding the agency’s November risk evaluation for TCE. In response to environmental groups urging EPA to base its evaluation of TCE on alleged cardiac issues, ACC’s letter asserts that the EPA’s chemical advisory committee and the National Academies confirmed that “the weight of scientific evidence does not support using the cardiac endpoint for determining risk.”

 

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS):

  • The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee unanimously approved the Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substances (PFAS) Act yesterday, according to Bloomberg Law. The bill would direct the FEMA Administrator to develop guidance within 180 days of the measure becoming law that would help firefighters and other emergency responders reduce their exposure to PFAS chemicals, specifically requiring the agency to issue guidance to help firefighters limit releases of PFAS found in firefighting foam into the environment.
  • E&E News reported that a group of 67 scientists and public health scholars signed a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan urging that the new agency leader regulate PFAS chemicals as a class and impose a ban on all non-essential uses. The group called PFAS “one of the most important public health challenges facing the Biden-Harris Administration,” and also suggested that the EPA should use its testing authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require “comprehensive health and environmental testing” as a way to gather more information on potential health and environmental impacts.
  • Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco allegedly detected 109 chemicals in a study of pregnant women, including “55 chemicals never before reported in people and 42 ‘mystery chemicals,’ whose sources and uses are unknown.” E&E News reported that there is “at least some evidence” that exposure can be linked to consumer products, noting that women in the study who had higher socioeconomic backgrounds and, as a result, higher purchasing power “tended to have more chemicals in their blood.”
  • According to Inside EPA, the Association of State & Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials released a position paper calling for the EPA to designate the full class of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances under CERCLA. The group noted in its report that, although it supported the EPA’s 2019 interim groundwater cleanup guidance for PFOA and PFOS, the “lack of clear federal regulatory authority” under the Superfund law makes it “unclear how responsible parties will be compelled to manage wastes containing PFAS and remediate PFAS contamination in a complete and timely fashion.”

Formaldehyde:

  • According to Bloomberg Law, the EPA announced that its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program is resuming its formaldehyde assessment. In addition, E&E News reported that the EPA will also revisit the scientific research literature for the chemical, which was last updated in 2018.

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