The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced that it is raising its red warning flag on four chemicals – phthalates, short chain chlorinated paraffins, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated chemicals (including PFOA) that are believed to be of concern to health and environment.
The EPA said it is using, for the first time, its authority under the existing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to list chemicals that may “present an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment.” EPA plans to further reform TSCA and said that they would act on other widely studied chemicals that may pose threat to human health.
Since 1976, the EPA only successfully restricted or banned 5 existing chemicals out of 80,000 currently listed under TSCA.
The red flags on these four chemicals signal a possibility of more restrictions or even a ban. Once listed, chemical companies who manufacture the products can provide information to the agency if they want to demonstrate that their chemical does not pose an unreasonable risk.