US chems reject EPA approach to phthalates, flame retardants

31 December 2009 18:07  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A US chemical industry trade group on Thursday expressed “strong concerns” about the US Environmental Protection Agency's move to place phthalates and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) on a “chemicals of concern list” that could lead to increased regulations.

Phthalates are widely used in polyvinyl chloride applications while PBDE's are used as flame retardants.

The move, announced on Wednesday, marked the first time the EPA has used authority under the US Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to list chemicals that “may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment”.

However, trade group American Chemistry Council (ACC) said the EPA should prioritise chemicals based on scientific criteria that reflect available hazard, use and exposure information provided to the agency, whereas the initial set of chemicals seemed to have been selected “based on little more than their current high-profile nature”.

The EPA’s approach to date provided no evidence of a systematic, science-based approach to chemicals management, ACC chief executive Cal Dooley said.

“It is vital that this be addressed," he added.

But Dooley also said that the chemicals industry was supporting EPA efforts to modernise the way chemicals are managed in commerce.

“ACC members will continue to work with consumer, government and scientific organisations to understand the impacts of chemicals on human health and the environment," he said.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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