The EPA has proposed a rule that would allow the agency to prohibit or limit all products containing more than 0.1 percent of Toluene Diisocyanates (TDI), harmful chemicals found in consumer products.
The agency says the Diisocyanates have been documented to cause asthma, lung damage, and in severe cases, death.
These chemicals are currently widely used in residual amounts in the production of polyurethanes and consumer products, such as coatings, elastomers, adhesives, and sealants and can be found in products used in and around homes or schools.
The EPA’s proposed action, a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act, would require manufacturers (including importers) to notify EPA at least 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals in consumer products at levels above 0.1 percent by weight. The EPA would then have the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of the chemicals and, if necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the activity.
Last moth the EPA issued a rule to prevent a handful of harmful chemicals, including certain benzidine-based dyes, DnPP, and Alkanes C 12-13, chloro, from entering the marketplace.
Jim Jones, EPA assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention, says the move will “level the playing field” for US businesses. These chemicals, which can harm human health and the environment, are no longer used in the US but find their way into commerce, sometimes through imported products.