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ACC Calls for EPA To Reconsider Its Misguided “Whole Chemical Approach” and Assumptions about PPE

Approaches are neither science-based nor risk-based and inconsistent with the 2016 Amendments to TSCA

Telly Lovelace

WASHINGTON (March 4, 2022) — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its updated risk determination for Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD). Of particular concern, for the first time, EPA has taken a “whole chemical approach” to a risk determination—instead of making “condition-of-use-specific” determinations. Also, in a critical change of course, the Agency has chosen to assume that personal protective equipment (PPE), including PPE required by OSHA, is not used in the workplace.

Kimberly Wise White, PhD, ACC Vice President of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs
EPA should withdraw this risk determination and reconsider its whole chemical approach in its entirety before implementing it, including the option of withdrawing this policy outright.

“If not, the Agency must provide a reasoned explanation for these policy changes including better clarity, principles, and criteria for using these approaches. And it must provide an opportunity for public comment on these overall policy changes before applying them to any chemical substance.”

In its comments submitted to EPA, ACC expressed several concerns with the risk determination process that need to be addressed. This included discussion that:

  • The application of a single “whole chemical” unreasonable risk determination, when there are conditions of use that the Agency has determined do not present an unreasonable risk, ignores the possibility of “no unreasonable risk” determinations for a chemical under its conditions of use. This is inconsistent with the statute.
  • Assuming no use of PPE runs counter to the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Addressing PPE (and other OSHA requirements) only in the risk management rule, not as part of the conditions of use in the risk evaluation, has significant potential impacts.
  • The approaches lack clarity, principles, criteria and justification.

For a deeper dive into ACC’s comments, including ACC’s recommendations to EPA about how to address these problems and its suggestions for alternative approaches, go here to read the full comments.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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