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September 24, 2020

Final Risk Evaluation for HBCD Is Third Completed under TSCA

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On September 24, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final risk evaluation for cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster (HBCD).  EPA found unreasonable risks to the environment from six out of 12 conditions of use and unreasonable risks to workers and occupational non-users (ONU) from the use and disposal of HBCD in building and construction materials.  EPA found no unreasonable risks to the general population and no unreasonable risks to consumers.  EPA’s next step in the process required by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is to develop a plan to reduce or eliminate the unreasonable risks found in the final risk evaluation.  EPA states that it “is moving immediately to risk management for this chemical and will work as quickly as possible to propose and finalize actions to protect workers, occupational non-users, and the environment.”  EPA states that the action it could take to address these risks includes regulating how HBCD is used or limiting or prohibiting the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of HBCD, as applicable.  As with any chemical product, EPA “strongly recommends that users of products containing HBCD continue to carefully follow all instructions on the product’s label and safety data sheet.”  EPA notes that this is the third final risk evaluation that it has issued and that it plans to issue the seven remaining final risk evaluations by the end of 2020.  More information will be available in a forthcoming memorandum that will be posted on our website.