Industry says California Lacks Evidence to List Furfuryl Alcohol

« Comments submitted by industry groups to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (Oehha), on its proposal to list furfuryl alcohol under Proposition 65, say that the agency lacks sufficient evidence to determine the substance’s carcinogenicity.

The proposal to list furfuryl alcohol – which is used as a foundry binder and can be formed in food processes during the dehydration of sugars, among other uses – relies on a 2014 US EPA report that found the substance to be a likely carcinogen.

However, a comment letter from the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association says that the US EPA has yet to “formally identify” the substance as causing cancer, and that the federal agency’s assessment of the substance fails to meet California’s “sufficient evidence” requirement.

Comments from Illovo Sugar, a parent company to several North American industrial chemical manufacturers, say that the National Toxicology Program study, relied upon by the EPA, has been available since 1999 and that, since that time, they are “unaware of any other authoritative body that has reviewed the results and has come to the same conclusions as the review group within the EPA”.

The California Metals Coalition said they believe the agency should review the Echa furfuryl alcohol dossier to determine whether it should be listed under Prop 65.

The group also said that should Oehha move forward with listing the substance, a safe harbour level should be simultaneously issued so that users can “determine whether the warnings can be omitted for specific uses” within manufacturing. »


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