On June 30, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced important policy changes surrounding risk evaluations issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by the previous administration and the path forward for the first 10 chemicals that have already undergone risk evaluations. These changes include: 1) expanding consideration of exposure pathways and fenceline community exposure screening level approach; 2) revisiting the assumption that PPE is always used in occupational settings when making risk determinations for a chemical; and 3) revisiting the assessments to make the determination of unreasonable risk just once for the whole chemical when it is clear the majority of the conditions of use warrant one determination.
The first 10 risk evaluations did not assess air, water or disposal exposures to the general population because these exposure pathways were already regulated, or could be regulated, under other EPA-administered statutes such as the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, or Clean Water Act. They also did not evaluate certain subpopulations, such as disadvantaged and fenceline communities, that could see higher exposures or be more susceptible. Based on these considerations, reconsidering PPE assumptions, and the whole chemical approach, EPA will revisit and possibly revise some of these 10 risk evaluations.
The EPA announcement can be reviewed in its entirety at: EPA Announces Path Forward for TSCA Chemical Risk Evaluations
More information on TSCA risk evaluations can be found here.