US EPA Set to Restrict Certain Dyes, Phthalates and SCCPs

18.12.2014 -

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new rules restricting the use of several chemicals in products imported into the country but no longer produced there.

Tougher regulations will apply to most uses of certain benzidine-based dyes which can be used in textiles, paints and inks and can be converted in the body into a chemical that is known to cause cancer.

EPA also plans to limit most uses of DnPP, a phthalate, used in PVC and which the agency said has been shown to cause developmental and/or reproductive effects in laboratory animals.

Restrictions also will apply to alkanes C 12-13, chloro, a short-chain chlorinated paraffin (SCCP), which can be used as industrial lubricants and are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic to aquatic organisms at low concentrations and can be transported globally in the environment.

Closing a loophole in import regulation, EPA said its action will allow it to review any efforts to introduce these chemicals into the market and take appropriate action to ensure that human health and the environment are protected. Under the Significant New Use Rules (SNUR) regulations, any company wanting to use these substances for a new application must notify the agency 90 days prior.

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is adding nine benzidine-based dyes to an existing list of Significant New Use Rules (SNURs).The environmental watchdog said it also has its eye on safer dyes and colorants as alternatives to benzidine as part of its Safer Chemical Ingredients List and Design for the Environment program.

In 2012, EPA required US-based companies to stop manufacturing and importing SCCPs and to pay fines as a result of an enforcement action. The SCCPs have been proposed for addition to the Stockholm Convention for Persistent Organic Pollutants.

The US authority said it is "further evaluating" related medium-chain (MCCPs) and long-chain chlorinated paraffins (LCCPs) as part of the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments. It also has added several phthalates to the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments.