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Panel: Jon Busch
Media: Sarah Scruggs

The Phenol Panel of the American Chemistry Council formed in 1988 to address health and safety issues relating to the manufacture and use of phenol. The Panel is comprised of major U.S. producers of phenol.  

To address safety issues, the Panel has completed a comprehensive Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) testing program, published a toxicological review, sponsored and published voluntary health effects studies, developed a safe handling and transportation video, and sponsored and published a critical study regarding the treatment and decontamination of dermal related exposures. 

In addition to its focus on safety issues, another major focus of the Panel is regulatory advocacy to address various federal, state and authoritative body initiatives and reviews. In many past initiatives and reviews, the Panel has been instrumental in supplying comments and scientific information that helped to impact the decision making process. Panel successes include:

  • A favorable decision by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) that a carcinogenicity study is not a high priority data need for phenol

  • Removal of phenol from the European Union’s draft list of potential endocrine disruptors

  • A favorable decision by the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant (DART) Identification Committee not to list phenol as a developmental or reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65

  • A favorable decision by California EPA (OEHHA) not to pursue listing of phenol as a reproductive toxicant by the Authoritative Bodies Mechanism under Prop 65

  • A favorable evaluation of the carcinogenicity of phenol by IARC

  • A favorable joint decision by Environment Canada and Health Canada that phenol is not toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

  • A favorable decision in EDF vs. EPA by the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which found that spent solvent phenol waste is not hazardous under RCRA

  • A favorable decision by EPA that phenol does not meet the criteria of a persistent, bioaccumulative & toxic (PBT) chemical

  • Removal of phenol from EPA’s Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative as a bioaccumulative chemical of concern (BCC)

  • A favorable decision by NTP’s Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction that phenol is not a priority chemical for review

  • An improved IRIS reassessment of phenol by EPA

  • Correction of the record by Washington State’s Department of Ecology in its scorecard for phenol


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