03 July 2002 20:41 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Wednesday that emissions of chlorine and hydrochloric acid (HCL) from chlorine plants will not be regulated because they are well below health thresholds for human safety.
The agency said it will not set national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (Neshap) for chlorine and hydrochloric acid.
"Chlorine and HCL levels emitted from chlorine production processes are below their threshold values within an ample margin of safety," according to EPA's notice.
"We are proposing not to develop any Neshap for the chlorine production source category, with the exception of a Neshap for mercury emissions from mercury cell chloralkali plants," the agency said.
The EPA noted that nearly all chloralkali plants are part of larger operations that already are regulated by one or more Neshaps.
Chlorine and hydrochloric acid may produce a number of human health effects, including irritation of the lungs and skin, dysfunction of the central nervous system, and digestive and respiratory problems, according to the notice.
But the EPA said its risk assessment found that chlorine and hydrochloric acid emission levels at the 20 largest facilities were both well below so-called reference concentrations - term indicating the amount of a chemical a person could inhale daily over a lifetime without suffering any harm.
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