25 Apr 2022
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced, on 24 March 2022, the results of a second round of tests under section 4 of TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act). The purpose of this is to collect additional information on eight of the next 20 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation. They include six chlorinated solvents and two flame retardants.
According to EPA, additional data on these chemicals is necessary and it is utilizing the authority in its TSCA test order to require companies to submit information regarding avian and aquatic environmental hazards and consumer exposure.
This is the third time EPA has used section 4 of the amended TSCA to issue test orders. The EPA issued test orders in January 2021 for the same eight chemicals, which required that aquatic environmental hazards and worker exposures by inhalation and skin be tested. EPA’s risk evaluations of these chemicals will be robust, credible, and use the latest available data thanks to the information obtained from these orders.
The process of developing section 4 test orders is complex, time-consuming, and resource-intensive since many scientific and regulatory aspects are involved. There is a document uploaded by EPA describing the development, draft, and issuance of section 4 test orders.
EPA may require companies to submit existing data, if available, or to conduct new tests. Organizations are encouraged to form consortia to reduce costs and burden and avoid duplication of testing.
The eight chemicals listed below are subject to section 4 test orders:
In December 2019, TSCA designated eight chemicals as high priorities for risk evaluation. EPA issued final scope documents for these chemicals in September 2020. The next step in the process is to publish draft risk evaluations for public comment.