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EPA Releases 2012 Chemical Data

The EPA has released its 2012 Chemical Data Reporting information on more than 7,600 chemicals in commerce.

The CDR database contains comprehensive use and exposure information on the most widely used chemicals in the United States.

Companies are now required to provide information on chemicals used in children’s and other consumer products, along with reports on commercial applications and industrial uses of chemicals. For the first time ever, the EPA also required companies to substantiate confidentiality claims in order to ensure that as much information as possible is made available to the public.

The 2012 Chemical Data Reporting information will help EPA and others better assess chemicals, evaluate potential exposures and use, and expand efforts to encourage the use of safer chemicals, the EPA says.

The CDR rule, the source of this new data, was issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The rule requires companies that manufacture or import chemicals to report manufacturing and import data every four years when site-specific production volume exceeds 25,000 lb.

This report is for calendar year 2011. The EPA received reports on 7,674 chemicals, including 354 that were reported as used in children’s products, 1,704 in consumer products and 3,073 in commercial applications or products. The remaining chemicals reported were for industrial use only.

The CDR information includes data on chemicals that are used in children’s products such as toys, playground and sporting equipment, arts and crafts materials, and textiles and furniture.

Chemicals used in consumer products, particularly those intended for children, present potential for direct exposure to the public and are priorities for assessment by the agency, the EPA said. Although reporting on these chemicals is compulsory, currently there are no requirements under TSCA that existing chemicals be evaluated for safety.

In September 2011, the American Chemistry Council proposed a system for prioritizing the EPA’s chemical review and assessment. The council said that the EPA lacked a “consistent, transparent process” for evaluating which chemicals need further evaluation, and that the agency risks wasting time and resources gathering information on chemicals that are already well understood or do not pose a health or environmental risk. ACC said that its prioritization tool, drawn up in consultation with member companies, would allow the EPA to apply objective criteria to prioritize chemicals for further review.

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