All Published Articles
This article presents the results of a January 2013 workshop convened at the California NanoSystems Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and hosted by the University of California Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, as well as the UCLA Center for Nanobiology and Predictive Toxicology. Using carbon nanotubes as a case study, national and international leaders from government, industry, and academia discussed the utility of alternative test strategies (ATS) for decision-making analyses of engineered nanomaterials (ENM). After discussions, participants generated a short list of generally shared viewpoints, including a general view that ATS approaches for ENMs can significantly benefit chemical safety analysis. The article is available for purchase online.
As one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy’s first official acts, on July 23, 2013, the Administrator signed a final rule easing the requirements under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for solvent-contaminated rags and wipes. The rule has been long in the making and much anticipated.
On August 7, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated significant new use rules (SNUR) through a direct final rule for 53 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN), including two PMN substances whose reported chemical names include the term "carbon nanotube" (CNT).
While regulators are generally supportive of new chemistries that can replace older, petroleum-based ones, biobased chemicals are subject to the same Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that governs every other chemical substance in the United States. Surprisingly, biobased chemicals that are considered to be “new chemicals” may actually receive more scrutiny under this law than established chemicals do. The following article provides practical information about the TSCA provisions that are most relevant to biobased chemicals, regulatory outcomes of Premanufacture Notification (PMN) review, and strategies stakeholders can use to assure compliance and successful commercialization of biobased chemicals.
Renewable chemicals are emerging at a fast pace, paving the way for new, innovative, and sustainable biobased products. The renewable chemicals’ market is estimated to reach $83.4 billion by 2018 in applications ranging from transportation and agriculture to textiles and cosmetics. In addition to all the elements great companies need to succeed -- a great product, a great brand, inspiring leadership, and vision -- biobased product companies need to understand how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) occupies a virtual seat at their management table, whether or not they know it.
Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced S. 1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), in May 2013. The CSIA provides a new approach to Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform that, to date, has met with broad stakeholder approval. Highlights of the draft bill are below.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) published a notice in the July 30, 2013, Federal Register announcing that, following receipt of a letter from the United States Trade Representative (USTR), it instituted investigation No. 332-541, "Trade Barriers that U.S. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Perceive as Affecting Exports to the European Union."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a fact sheet (www.epa.gov/oppt/newchems/pubs/isotopes.pdf) on reporting chemical substances that contain different isotopes of the same elements listed on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. The document has enforcement consequences, so stakeholders should review it carefully. This column explains its significance.
As with many countries, Korea is pursuing a chemicals management approach that ensures substances being placed on its market are assessed for risk potential based on its use patterns while placing the burden of safe use on chemical businesses.
On April 29, 2013, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled “Toxic Substances: EPA Has Increased Efforts to Assess and Control Chemicals but Could Strengthen Its Approach.” The report is available at www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-249. This article summarizes the findings and its implications.