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February 12, 2014

EPA Promulgates Final SNURs for Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Infused Carbon Nanostructures

Lynn L. Bergeson

On February 12, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued, through a direct final rule, significant new use rules (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 35 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). The 35 substances include four identified as multi-walled carbon nanotubes (generic) that were the subject of a December 3, 2012, TSCA Section 5(e) consent order. The consent order requires the use of personal protective equipment (PPE); no domestic manufacture; import of the substances at a cumulative, aggregate volume not to exceed a confidential volume specified in the consent order unless the company has submitted the results of certain health studies; and no use of the substances resulting in surface water releases. The SNUR designates as a “significant new use” the absence of these protective measures. The direct final rule also includes a SNUR for infused carbon nanostructures (generic). According to EPA, no significant inhalation exposures are expected when the PMN substance is manufactured according to the process identified in the PMN, to incorporate the PMN substance into pellets. Therefore, EPA states, it has not determined that the proposed manufacturing, processing, or use of the substance may present an unreasonable risk. The direct final rule is effective on April 14, 2014. Written adverse or critical comments, or notice of intent to submit such, are due March 14, 2014.