On January 7, 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA announced a new rule for manufacturers of 19 additional high production volume (HPV) chemicals: manufacturers of these chemicals must conduct testing on the health and environmental effects of these chemicals and submit the data to EPA.
EPA had previously requested that testing data be submitted voluntarily, but insufficient data was received. Thus, the EPA — under public, political and internal pressure to address chemicals safety in the United States — implemented this new rule requiring testing data for 19 chemicals.
Spotlight on acetaldehyde
The 19 chemicals in the second HPV test rule announced today under TSCA Section 4 have a broad range of consumer and industrial applications — our modern world is riddled with these 19. For example, diphenylmethanone is used in consumer products and can be found in personal care products, and 9, 10-anthracenedione, is used to manufacture dyes. If you’re a High Production Volume chemical, you’re a celebrity of the substance-level world.
Ever had a hangover? Acetaldehyde (ethanal) might be the culprit, or part of it. Acetaldehyde is right at the top of the A-list of 19 star chemicals singled out for testing by EPA. It is an organic compound that occurs commonly and naturally, e.g., in yeast and ripe fruit. The chemical can be produced by oxidation of ethanol, and is said to be one cause of hangovers.
Acetaldehyde is also manufactured and used in high production volumes by industry.
One of the largest uses of acetaldehyde is as a chemical intermediate for many chemicals, such as the production of acetic acid. It’s further used in silvering mirrors; hardening gelatin fibers; denaturing alcohol; and in the manufacture of disinfectants, dyes, drugs, explosives, flavorings, phenolic and urea resins, rubber accelerators and antioxidants, varnishes, and yeast.
This is what it means to be a High Production Volume chemical – you have to be everywhere! And you should probably have an agent, too, but that’s another story.
List of 19 new chemicals for EPA-required testing
Later in 2011, the EPA intends to require testing for unsponsored chemicals beyond this list of 19 chemicals. For now, here is the list of 19. You may also download the list of 19 chemicals requiring testing by EPA, or just view below.