Law & Order

EPA Assessing Risks for Chemicals Found in Flame Retardants, Paint Strippers, Degreasers and Protective Coatings

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on draft risk assessments for five chemicals found in common household products. The chemicals and their uses are methylene chloride or dichloromethane (DCM) and n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in paint stripper products; trichloroethylene (TCE) as a degreaser and a spray-on protective coating; antimony trioxide (ATO) as a synergist in halogenated flame retardants; and 1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8,-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyran (HHCB) as a fragrance ingredient in commercial and consumer products. 

Under authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA is in the process of reviewing 83 common chemicals that may impact people’s health or the environment. Last year, the EPA proposed regulating six flame retardant chemicals and phasing-out another chemical. Final action on those chemicals is expected later this year. Following public comment on the current list of five chemicals, the agency will seek an independent, scientific peer review of the assessments before pursuing final actions. Beyond placing warning labels on products to reduce public exposure, the EPA could take additional actions, such as requiring companies processing the chemicals to register with the EPA and secure approval in advance of producing a new product. 

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at