National Academy of Sciences to Examine Low-dose Toxicity

« A new committee of the National Academy of Sciences will examine whether the current toxicity testing practices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adequately consider adverse human health effects of low doses of endocrine-active chemicals.0013

Committee activities will include convening a scientific workshop to support systematic reviews of human and animal toxicology data for chemicals that affect the estrogen or androgen system.

The committee will also consider how to use adverse outcome pathway (AOP) or other mechanistic data, including high-throughput data and pharmacokinetic information, to elucidate under what circumstances human and animal data may be concordant or discordant.

The committee held its first meeting Oct. 13; the next meeting will be on Nov. 17–18 in Washington, D.C. Information on the committee, including links to information about upcoming meetings and a list of committee members, is available on the National Academies website. « 


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New TSCA Information Available in EPA’s ChemView Web Tool

« ChemView, EPA’s web tool for information on chemicals, now contains information on over 12,000 chemicals.
Since the launch of ChemView in 2013, EPA has been working to add new types of data, increase the amount of information, and improve the usability of this web tool.


Below are details on the variety of additional information EPA has recently added and how EPA has improved the functionality of ChemView.

  • Exporters and receiving countries now have access to information on chemicals subject to TSCA’s export notice requirements under Section 12(b) in ChemView. The web tool contains the list of Section 12(b) chemicals and links to the Federal Register notices for additional information about actions triggering the export notice requirement.
  • ChemView users can now easily search and find key information on TSCA chemicals that is housed in other federal agencies, including the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This improved functionality and access enables users to search multiple federal chemical databases at once.
  • ChemView has now begun including expanded summary information on substantial risk notification data submissions received under TSCA Section 8(e), making this important health and safety information more easily accessible to researchers and the public.

ChemView continues to add content and now includes:

  • Data submitted to EPA:
    • Test data for 178 chemicals subject to TSCA Section 4 test rules. EPA test rules require industry to develop health and safety data to help EPA scientists and others to better understand potential health and environmental effects associated with exposure to chemicals.
    • ChemView also contains TSCA Section 8(e) substantial risk notices for 2,400 chemicals, including 600 submissions with detailed summaries. TSCA Section 8(d) health and safety studies for 140 chemicals, and High Production Volume Information System submissions for 1,513 chemicals.
  • EPA Assessments:
    • The Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL), developed under the Safer Choice program, now contains information on 659 chemicals.
    • ChemView also contains hazard characterizations for 1,018 chemicals, Integrated Risk Information System assessments for 546 chemicals, and alternative assessments for 48 chemicals.
  • EPA Actions:
    • Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for over 1,900 chemicals, covering new and existing chemical SNURs issued since 2000. SNURs require notification to EPA for any significant new uses of the chemical(s) identified in the SNUR and allow for EPA review prior to the start or resumption of new uses.
    • Consent orders for 245 chemicals are also available in ChemView.

The Toxics Release Inventory and Chemical Data Reporting information is also easily accessed through ChemView.

ChemView is providing improved access to useful information on TSCA chemicals so that people are more informed and able to make safer chemical choices about the chemicals they formulate and use. »

ChemView access:

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Danish EPA Says Most Preservatives In Cosmetics are Safe

« Most preservatives used in cosmetic products are safe in their permitted concentrations, according to a survey by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA tested 639 products on the Danish market. It found a total of 53 preservatives in these, and assessed the risks of five which are “suspected of damaging the environment and health”.

They are:

• DMDM hydantoin;
• imidazolidinyl urea;
• zinc pyrithione;
• thimerosal; and
• phenoxyethanol

Phenoxyethanol was the most commonly used preservative, either alone or in combination with other compounds.
This means that consumers are likely to be exposed to phenoxyethanol through multiple products, but whether this poses a health risk is unclear, says the EPA, until the ongoing assessment by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) is finalized.

The study shows that the other compounds are safe, although there is a risk that some might induce allergies. The EPA said it was not been able to substantiate allergy risk further, due to lack of data on the individual substances.

Also, the study found that the use of parabens has decreased significantly, by comparison with previous Danish studies. This is also confirmed by the manufacturers, which have supplied information for this survey, the EPA said. »


Report  :

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New EPA Limit On Ground-Level Ozone Draws Mixed Response

09340-notw10-smogcxdOzone is a major component of smog, shown here in Los Angeles

« Congress is taking a critical look at a new federal air quality standard that the chemical industry says will put expansion investments at risk but that health advocates say doesn’t offer enough protection.

At issue is the Environmental Protection Agency’s new air pollution limit for ground-level ozone, which is created when hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides react in the presence of sunlight. The new standard of 70 ppb, issued on Oct. 1, is slightly lower than the previous cap of 75 ppb. The agency had considered 65 ppb in a draft proposal but later backed off that number.

Ozone, a powerful oxidant, irritates lungs and bronchial airways, damaging tissue and leading to wheezing and shortness of breath. It aggravates lung diseases. If the level of ozone in an area exceeds the standard, air regulators have authority to require NOx and hydrocarbons emissions reductions from vehicles, industrial facilities, and electric utilities.

The American Chemistry Council, a trade association, says the standard “puts $10 billion in chemical industry investment at risk.” New facilities, plant expansions, and factory restarts will remain in limbo while EPA determines how these plants, which may emit hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, can obtain air pollution permits necessary for construction and operation, ACC explains.

Other industry groups turned to Congress in an effort to block implementation of the standard. Some lawmakers are responding. The House Science, Space & Technology Committee, whose leaders are critical of the new rule, are planning a hearing to scrutinize it and call witnesses who oppose it.

The rule has supporters too. Although health advocacy organizations sought an ozone limit of 60 ppb, the new limit “offers significantly greater protection than the previous, outdated standard,” the American Lung Association says.

EPA considered lower levels to meet a recommendation from its science advisers of 60 to 70 ppb. In the end, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy picked the weakest level within the science advisers’ range. She says thousands of new studies led her to believe 72 ppb was a safe level for healthy adults, and she chose 70 ppb to provide a protective margin for children and those with compromised lungs. »

Article by Jeff Johnson
Chemical & Engineering News, Volume 93 Issue 40 , p. 11; Issue Date: October 12, 2015

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American EPA Issues Snurs For 30 Chemicals

“The US EPA has imposed significant new use rules on 30 chemicals, which were the subject of pre-manufacture notices.

Nine of them are subject to consent order under section 5(e) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

In case of substances under consent orders, the EPA determined that activities “associated with the substances may present unreasonable risk to human health or the environment.” The consent orders require protective measures to limit exposures, or otherwise mitigate the potential unreasonable risk.

The rules go into effect from 1 December 2015. They require persons who intend to manufacture, import or process any of the substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use to notify the agency at least 90 days before starting that activity.

“The required notification will provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs,” the agency says in a Federal Register notice.

The deadline for submitting written adverse or critical comments, or notice of intent to submit adverse or critical comments, on any of the Snurs is 2 November. If the EPA receives such comments before the deadline, it will withdraw the relevant Snur.”

Federal Register :

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EPA Launches New Websites‏

EPA’s Pollution Prevention and Toxics website has a new name, look, and address. Our old website, previously found at, is now our new Chemicals under TSCA website. Many of our stakeholders have noticed our gradual move to new versions of our content as part of the larger EPA effort to build a more user-friendly website.

With the new Chemicals under TSCA website, information should now be easier than ever to access, regardless of the type of electronic device you use, including tablets and smartphones.

With the transition to our new site completed, web page addresses will be different. This may cause links and bookmarks to break, and EPA is working to fix any broken links on our website.

The majority of the old pollution prevention and toxics pages will redirect to the new web areas, but we encourage you to update your bookmarks.

Our new “Page Not Found” notification will help you find what you are looking for by providing suggested search terms, links to our A-Z index, and other helpful links.

If you have trouble locating information, try using the search feature available on every EPA web page and in the archive (

To help you find some of our most requested information, below are the updated URLs for some of our most popular web areas:

Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA (includes the TSCA workplan, chemical risk assessments, and reporting requirements):

Reviewing New Chemicals:

Chemical Data Reporting:

TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory:




Safer Choice:

Pollution Prevention:

Green Chemistry:

EPA Announces New Rules To Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides

gettyimages-468840748_custom-93ed36dc67cafc6a445ad9d93d2f390eb79e771d-s800-c85A worker pours a bucket of pesticide into a machine to be sprayed on almond trees at Del Bosque Farms Inc. in Firebaugh, Calif., on April 6, 2015. California and Washington already have adopted, through state regulation, many of the rules that the EPA now wants to put in place nationwide.

« The Environmental Protection Agency has released a final version of updated rules intended to keep farmworkers from being poisoned by pesticides. The previous « worker protection standard » for farms has been in effect since 1992.
The new rules require farms to make a host of changes. Employers will have to train workers on the risks of pesticides every year, rather than every five years. Workers will have to stay farther away from contaminated fields. Farmers will have to keep more records on exactly when and where they used specific pesticides. And no children under the age of 18 will be allowed to handle the chemicals.

There’s very little solid data on exactly how many workers are exposed to hazardous levels of pesticides, though the EPA estimates that 10,000 to 20,000 workers may be poisoned by pesticides each year. Many others are exposed to hazardous chemicals but experience less severe symptoms.

Farmworker advocates praised the new rules. « We’ve been fighting for more than 20 years from some of these improvements, » says Virginia Ruiz, director of occupational and environmental health at Farmworker Justice.
But the new rules do not go as far as some had hoped. They do not, for instance, require routine medical monitoring of workers who specialize in applying the most dangerous pesticides. Both California and Washington require such monitoring, and these programs have identified workers who had been been exposed to pesticides and were at risk for developing more serious health problems. The EPA, however, decided that requiring such monitoring across the nation would cost too much.

The agency also decided not to demand that employers and pesticide manufacturers translate their safety documents into Spanish or other languages that workers may understand better than English. According to the EPA, there’s little convincing evidence that such a requirement would improve safety, although the agency still « encourages … employers to display this information in such a way that workers and handlers can understand, including translation. »

California and Washington already have adopted, through state regulation, many of the rules that the EPA now wants to put in place nationwide. The EPA rules will take effect about 14 months from now.
The rules will not apply, however, to farm owners and their immediate families. This was intended to reduce the regulatory burden on small, family-operated farms.”

Article by Dan Charles

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