Diversified Industrials

Performance Chemistries Weekly Roundup – 3.11.21

Phthalates:

  • According to Inside EPA, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is adding “children’s products” for the first time to their proposed Safer Consumer Products (SCP) green chemistry program’s three-year workplan (2021-23), stating that children are “especially susceptible to adverse impacts from exposures to hazardous chemicals,” including phthalates and PFAS. Once a product is listed as a “priority product” under the SCP program, companies are required to conduct chemical alternatives assessments to determine whether “safer substitutes” are available. A virtual public hearing to discuss its draft 2021-23 SCP workplan is scheduled for Wednesday, March 17, with written comments due Friday, March 19.
  • In an interview with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Russ Hauser, a Harvard University professor specializing in environmental and occupational epidemiology, discussed the recent paper he co-authored with colleagues from Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks), which outlines the alleged “health dangers” of phthalates and calls for their elimination in consumer products.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS):

  • The Senate in a 66-34 vote on Wednesday, March 10 confirmed Michael Regan to be President Biden’s EPA administrator, with Inside EPA noting Regan will play “a major role in helping to implement Biden’s ambitious environmental agenda that includes tackling climate change, advancing environmental justice and other major issues.” Prior to his tenure as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Regan previously served as an associate vice president for climate and energy issues at the Environmental Defense Fund and as head of his own environmental and energy consulting firm. He’s been noted for his involvement in managing PFAS issues in North Carolina.
  • E&E News reported that testing conducted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) identified PFAS chemicals in certain publicly available herbicides and insecticides, describing the findings as “deeply concerning.” EPA, which would not comment on PEER’s newest testing, maintains that PFAS in at least one mosquito adulticide came from the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) barrels used to transport the product. An EPA spokesperson said the agency is “actively working with industry and trade organizations to raise awareness and set clear expectations for product stewardship.”
  • According to Inside EPA, New York is seeking to impose emissions limits on PFOA that would apply only to companies that incinerate the chemical. The proposed limit of 0.0053 micrograms per cubic meter has received criticism from environmental advocacy groups, including the Sierra Club, Beyond Plastics, and Earthjustice, which collectively left comments for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urging that it instead set the annual guideline concentration for PFOA as “non-detectable.”
  • According to Bloomberg Law, California’s Water Resources Control Board issued an order Friday, March 5 setting a response level of 5 ppb (parts per billion) for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS). The order doesn’t require water districts to sample for PFBS, but instead outlines steps to take if a district tests for the presence of chemicals and the final results are above the notification or response levels. Two other PFAS – PFOA and PFOS – also have state response levels of 10 and 40 ppt (parts per trillion), respectively.

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