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EPA to Ban Chemical Used in Degreasers, Dry Cleaning Spot Removers

chemicalsThe EPA has proposed a ban on some uses of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) because the agency says it poses health risks when used as a degreaser and a spot removal agent in dry cleaning.

The agency wants to prohibit the manufacture, import, processing and distribution in commerce of TCE for use in aerosol degreasing and for use in spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities. The EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the prohibitions.

Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, says the action will help protect consumers and workers from cancer and other health risks. A 2014 assessment concluded the chemical can cause a range of adverse health effects, including cancer, development and neurotoxicological effects and toxicity to the liver.

Earlier this month the EPA announced the inclusion of TCE on the list of the first 10 chemicals to be evaluated for risk under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act.

Over the summer the EPA posted an Implementation Plan that outlines the agency’s first-year plans to implement the new chemical safety rules. It gives chemical companies and others a better idea of what, and when, they can expect in terms of EPA rulemaking and enforcement activities.

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