Category: Chemicals

Today’s workplace uses thousands of chemicals, many of which are hazardous. The resources in this section will help guide you in the safe and legal identification, storage, transport, and use of these chemicals, and in making sure that your employees right to know how to be safe around such substances is provided, as required by law.

Chemicals

IRIS and TSCA: Chemical Assessments Face Budget and Time Challenges

Chemical assessments, a core activity at the EPA, are conducted under two separate but closely related programs—the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) and implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its 2016 amendments. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report on how these two programs are completing their mission to evaluate […]

Drinking water

Bipartisan Support for Faster CERCLA Designation for PFAS

In its Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan, released in February 2019, the EPA noted that in 2018, it initiated the regulatory development process for listing the two most problematic PFAS—perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)—as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund).

Chemicals, laboratory

New TSCA Inventory Released by EPA Lists Active Chemicals

The EPA has released what it describes as the first update of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory in 40 years. The update indicates that 47 percent of the 86,228 chemicals listed on the Inventory are “active,” which means they have been manufactured, processed, or imported for a nonexempt commercial purpose during the 10-year […]

‘Groundbreaking’ PFAS Plan Floated by EPA

With considerable fanfare, including news conferences in every EPA region, the Agency unveiled its Action Plan for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a large class of manufactured chemicals that have proven to be highly effective in many industrial applications and have also spread risks to human health through sources of drinking water across the nation. […]

Asbestos: EPA Refuses to Require TSCA Reporting

It is not a stretch to say that the 2016 amendments to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) were motivated to a large extent by the EPA’s inability under the law to ban, or at least significantly restrict, industrial and commercial uses of asbestos. Under new authority provided in the amendments, the Agency promptly […]

Pesticide worker

Rules for Noncertified Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs)

In January 2017, the EPA amended its regulations affecting the certification of applicators of restricted use pesticides (RUPs). In writing the amendments, the Agency needed to balance two somewhat opposing forces—strengthen requirements to ensure that applicators and particularly young applicators, as well as the families of applicators, were not harmed by exposure to RUPs while […]

HazCom, GHS

What HazCom Updates Can You Expect This Year?

OSHA is expected to revise its Hazard Communication (HazCom) Standard this year to bring it in line with the current Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and formalize various enforcement policies that have been issued since the last major update to HazCom in 2012. Employers that manufacture, import, distribute, or use […]

Prop 65

Prop 65: Developments and Updates from 2018

Since it was introduced in 1986, California’s Proposition 65 (Prop 65, shorthand for the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) has regularly broken new ground on ways government can compel businesses to warn the public about the dangers of chemicals in products, structures, and the environment. Here we will summarize Prop […]