Regulatory News

20 High Priority Chemicals Listed for TSCA Risk Evaluation

The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is meeting a statutory requirement under the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by proposing to designate 20 chemical substances as High-Priority Substances for upcoming risk evaluations. The proposed designation is a required step in a new process of reviewing chemical substances currently in commerce under the amended TSCA.

The EPA is issuing designation documents for each chemical substance describing the chemical-specific information, analysis and basis EPA used to support the proposed designation. The 20 proposed high-priority candidate chemicals include seven chlorinated solvents, six phthalates, four flame retardants, formaldehyde, a fragrance additive and a polymer precursor. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/chemical-substances-undergoing-prioritization-high.

Updated Guide for Managing Hazardous Waste

The US EPA has updated the guidebook entitled “Managing Hazardous Waste: A Guide for Small Businesses.” The guide provides an overview of the federal hazardous waste regulations to give business owners and operators a basic understanding of their hazardous waste management responsibilities. It answers questions such as, “Do hazardous waste regulations apply to me?” “How do I know which generator category I am?” and “What kinds of requirements do I have to follow?”

The guide will help businesses determine proper hazardous waste management, a critical step in protecting human health and the environment. Although the guide is targeted to small businesses, the information may be helpful to any business managing hazardous waste. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/managing-your-hazardous-waste-guide-small-businesses.

SGP Announces New Supplier Certification

The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading authority in sustainable printing certification, is pleased to announce a new certification for suppliers to the printing industry. The “SGP Supplier” certification is the next step in the organization’s mission to further sustainability throughout the printing supply chain. The criteria for SGP Supplier certification are similar to those for SGP Printers. The criteria specify the requirements for management and production operations that define sustainable practices encompassing people, planet and profit – the three P’s of sustainability. Draft criteria, based on SGP’s successful printer certification efforts, define the core elements of the SGP certification program, including development and adoption of a sustainability management system (SMS) and best practices. The criteria will be released in the first half of 2020.

Doreen Monteleone
Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D.
Director of Sustainability & EHS Initiatives
RadTech International North America
doreen@radtech.org

 


News from the West Coast

RadTech Test Method Approved by SCAQMD Board

In an unprecedented move, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Board voted unanimously to approve ASTM D7767-11 – the RadTech test method for thin film materials – thereby overriding their staff recommendation to continue to explore whether or not to approve ASTM D7767-11 for enforcement purposes.

Decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the SCAQMD requested that RadTech develop a method for thin film materials as the methods used for conventional materials (EPA Method 24 and SCAQMD M313) are not valid for energy-curable materials, according to findings by both the EPA and the district. RadTech formed a committee of over 25 member companies and then invested significant time and resources to obtain approval from the ASTM. In 2011, ASTM D7767-11 was certified as a valid method to measure Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from thin film energy-curable materials. While the district allowed the method for emission reporting and permitting, the agency had not specified which method it would use for compliance verification, leaving the industry in limbo. The issue kept coming up every time a new coatings rule was proposed, including the one at hand – Rule 1107 (Metal Coatings).

Section (b) of Rule 1107 acknowledged ASTM D7767-11 and reads as follows: (b)(15) “ENERGY CURABLE COATINGS are single-component reactive products that cure upon exposure to visible-light, ultra-violet light or an electron beam. The VOC content of thin film energy-curable coatings may be measured by manufacturers using ASTM D7767 – Standard Test Method to Measure Volatiles from Radiation Curable Acrylate Monomers, Oligomers, and Blends and Thin Coatings Made from Them.”

The inclusion of the method in the definition section was progress, but ASTM D7767-11 was not listed as one of the Methods allowed under the Section (e) of the Rule “Methods of Analysis.” To complicate matters further, Section (e)(5) reads: “Multiple Test Methods: When more than one test method or set of methods are specified for any testing, a violation of any requirement of this rule established by any one of the specified test methods or set of test methods shall constitute a violation of the rule.”

In essence, the language allows the district staff to fine companies whenever there is a dispute over the appropriate method. Since the district has no better method than ASTM D7767-11, RadTech requested listing the method in Section (e) with the other test methods, which would clarify test method requirements for businesses and allay fears that the district may take adverse enforcement action due to inconsistencies of test methods. Staff rejected the proposal.

After engaging in a brief question and answer period with the staff, a board member suggested additional language that would compel suppliers to provide formulation date to the staff. A motion was made to accept the RadTech language without any changes and was seconded. The roll was called, and the motion passed 11-0 in favor of the RadTech proposal. The board decision means that for the first time in UV/EB history, the RadTech test method for thin films has been certified to prove compliance.

Watch the testimony by Rita Loof, director of Environmental Affairs for RadTech and Doug Delong of Doctor UV at the following link (1:16 on the ribbon): http://www.aqmd.gov/home/news-events/webcast/live-webcast?ms=FhZzVdu3WGM

PCBTF Now a Carcinogen in California

Effective June 28, 2019, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene (para-Chlorobenzotrifluoride, PCBTF) to the list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer for purposes of Proposition 65. Under Prop 65, individuals must provide warnings prior to exposure to a chemical identified to cause cancer or reproductive harm. The duty to warn applies to product manufacturers, employers and individuals causing exposures in an affected area.

PCBTF is used in field-applied architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings; marine coatings; auto-refinish coatings; factory-applied metal, plastic and wood coatings; and in adhesives and consumer products, including paint thinners. In 1994, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exempted PCBTF from its list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In addition, PCBTF sometimes is favored over other exempt compounds because it evaporates more slowly and has a higher flash point. Thus, it is less flammable than some exempt VOCs, such as acetone. According to OEHHA, the listing of PCBTF is based on formal identification by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) that the chemical causes cancer. The information OEHHA relied on primarily consisted of (1) studies on the toxicokinetics of PCBTF in rats, (2) studies investigating the potential for the chemical’s genotoxicity in bacterial and mammalian cell cultures, as well as in vivo in rodents, and (3) a lifetime cancer evaluation of PCBTF in B6C3F1/N mice and Hsd: Sprague Dawley SD rats carried out by NTP (2018). References found here: https://oehha.ca.gov/media/downloads/crnr/pcbtfiur101819.pdf

In October 2019, OEHHA released a proposed PCBTF cancer inhalation unit risk (IUR) factor. The state agency is in the process of finalizing the unit risk factor for PCBTF; once final, SCAQMD will utilize the unit risk factor to complete a risk assessment and could remove the PCBTF VOC exemption. The criteria used by OEHHA for the listing of chemicals under the “authoritative bodies” mechanism can be found in Title 27, Cal. Code of Regs., section 25306. But, industry representatives argue that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Report on PCBTF and the data it provides do not satisfy the OEHHA listing criteria.

If PCBTF’s VOC exemption is eliminated, SCAQMD may propose amendments to its Architectural Coatings rule (Rule 1113) to provide the industry additional time to reformulate products. Industry representatives have called for an increase in VOC limits in order to comply with rule requirements without the option of using products containing PCBTF. The district has indicated that any increase in emissions resulting from higher VOC limits would need to be offset with other additional VOC reductions to avoid “backsliding.” 

Rita LoofRita Loof
Director of Regional Environmental Affairs
RadTech International North America
rita@radtech.org