All Published Articles
In the second installment of this series, I wrote about how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates products across a manufacturing process, from feedstock to product. In this last installment, I present options for updating TSCA and the related implementing regulations to put novel, biobased chemistry on an even footing with incumbent products and processes that were grandfathered in as part of the original TSCA Inventory. The key is to find a way to level the field without compromising the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission and authority to protect human health and the environment.
On April 28, 2015, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing to consider the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697). Since then, S. 697 has gained additional backing from both Republicans and Democrats. These events are important because they demonstrate significant bipartisan support for reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and suggest TSCA reform actually may be in our future.
Membership in the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) offers a number of benefits to members of the nano community. SNO's purpose is to provide a professional society forum to advance knowledge in all aspects of sustainable nanotechnology, including both applications and implications.
In the first installment of this series, I wrote about how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates products. In this article, we will look across a manufacturing process. TSCA applies to chemical substances that are used for purposes other than food, food additives, animal feed, cosmetics, drugs, tobacco and tobacco products, pesticides, munitions, and nuclear source materials. Biobased chemicals, that is, chemicals made from lignocellulose or other biomass, are finding markets in food and cosmetic markets, but much of the recent innovation focuses on biobased fuels and commodity chemicals. For these final products, TSCA applies. Chemical products must be listed on the TSCA Inventory of Chemical Substances (the Inventory) or be eligible for an exemption. If the product is not listed on the Inventory, the manufacturer must file a premanufacture notification 90 days before manufacturing (or importing) that substance or qualify for an appropriate exemption.
On April 27, 2015, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced publication of "Carbon Nanotube and Nanofiber Exposure Assessments: An Analysis of 14 Site Visits" in Annals of Occupational Hygiene. The paper is the second report from NIOSH's Industrywide Study. According to NIOSH, the findings illustrate which tasks have the highest exposures, trends in exposure, nature and character of materials involved, effectiveness of controls when used, and continued refinement of the methods used to evaluate exposure of this high-priority class of nanomaterials.
Bioeconomy companies recognize that their products are subject to a variety of federal chemical regulations, especially if they sell food, food additives, cosmetics, or other products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unfortunately, companies may not recognize all the ways that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates bioproducts, perhaps because of the understandable focus on the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the various programs under that authority: Renewable Fuel Standard, fuel additive registration, or other CAA submissions. TSCA also applies to bioproducts used in industrial, commercial, and most consumer products, including fuels. TSCA reporting requirements are in addition to, and separate from, CAA reporting.
The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) Nano Task Force published an article in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology entitled "A decision-making framework for the grouping and testing of nanomaterials (DF4nanoGrouping)."
As all chemical companies doing business in the European Union (EU) should know, the "A" in REACH stands for Authorisation, the last of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) processes to be implemented since the regulation entered into force in 2008. This article reviews the path to Authorisation and reports on key developments shared during the "Lessons Learnt on Applications for Authorisation" ECHA conference held 11 February, 2015.
On April 9, 2015, the European Commission (EC) Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) posted a Position Statement on emerging and newly identified health risks to be drawn to the attention of the European Commission.
On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a) rule concerning reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain chemical substances when manufactured (including imported) or processed at the nanoscale.