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January 6, 2021

EPA Issues Final TSCA Section 6(h) Rules for Five PBT Chemicals

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final rules under Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals — 2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP) (86 Fed. Reg. 866); decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) (86 Fed. Reg. 880); hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) (86 Fed. Reg. 922); pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP) (86 Fed. Reg. 911); and phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) (86 Fed. Reg. 894).  TSCA required EPA to take expedited action on specific PBT chemicals to address risk and reduce exposures to the extent practicable.  EPA identified these five PBT chemicals for expedited action, following criteria outlined in TSCA.  The final rules limit or prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and/or distribution in commerce for the following:

  • DecaBDE:  A flame retardant in plastic enclosures for televisions, computers, audio and video equipment, textiles and upholstered articles, wire and cables for communication and electronic equipment, and other applications;
  • PIP (3:1):  A plasticizer, a flame retardant, an anti-wear additive, or an anti-compressibility additive in hydraulic fluid, lubricating oils, lubricants and greases, various industrial coatings, adhesives, sealants, and plastic articles;
  • 2,4,6-TTBP:  An intermediate/reactant in processing, and it is incorporated into formulations destined for fuel and fuel-related additives;
  • HCBD:  A chemical used as a halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbon that is produced as a byproduct during the manufacture of chlorinated hydrocarbons; and
  • PCTP:  A chemical used to make rubber more pliable in industrial uses.

The final rules will be effective February 5, 2021.  More information on the final rules is available in our December 23, 2020, memorandum, “EPA Releases Final TSCA Section 6(h) Rules for Five PBT Chemicals.”