What’s happening with regard to chemical regulations internationally? Here are some updates we’ve prepared for you for May 2021.

Changes to chemical reviews in the United States

In March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will revise its strategy for new chemical reviews to better synchronize the process with legal requirements.

The intention of this revision is to re-establish the gatekeeper role that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) previously upheld, which allowed for stricter regulation and review of new chemicals prior to being placed on the US market.

It is likely that, in the coming months, the EPA will reverse parts of the prior administration’s new chemical review process and previous policy decisions.

The EPA also indicated that it may re-evaluate and supplement TSCA risk evaluations, which were completed under the previous administration.

This may include the reversal of certain policy decisions which exempted specific use and exposure pathways from being included in the existing chemical reviews.

Moving forward, the EPA intends to consider all conditions of use and exposure as required by TSCA.

Three of the first ten risk evaluations to be reviewed include asbestos, methylene chloride, and tricholoroethylene.

The EPA also plans to focus more on environmental justice considerations for future risk evaluations.

For more information on TSCA, please contact us.

Council of the European Union endorses new Chemicals Strategy

The Council of the European Union has taken a major step towards establishing a long-term vision for European chemical policy, having adopted its conclusions on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability published by the European Commission in late 2020.

The strategy aims for better protection of both human health as well as the environment, while at the same time improving the competitiveness of the EU’s chemical industry.

It focuses on banning particularly harmful chemicals found in consumer products, especially if suitable alternatives are available. The strategy will phase out hazardous chemicals and find ways to utilize chemicals more sustainably and safely.

One of the key aspects is its “safe and sustainable-by-design” approach, which looks at toxicity across the entire product lifecycle: manufacturing, use, recycling, and disposal.

The Council is supportive of the European Union taking a leading role in pursuing more sustainable chemical legislation, while also ensuring that the continent can reliably source all chemicals that are necessary to the health and safety of society.

Please contact us for more information.

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