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EPA proposes to modify certain TSCA prohibitions on the flame retardants PIP (3:1) and decaBDE

SafeGuardSHardgoods, Automotive, Electrical & Electronics, Personal and Protective Equipment, Softlines, Toys and Juvenile ProductsDecember 01, 2023

SG 161/23

The EPA has proposed a rule which would modify certain prohibitions on PIP (3:1) and DecaBDE under TSCA 40 CFR 751.

In January 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published five final rules to regulate five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals under Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (SafeGuardS 19/21). This rule established part E under 40 CFR 751 and addresses the following chemicals:

  • 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP, CAS 732-26-3)
  • Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE, CAS 1163-19-5)
  • Phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP 3:1, CAS 68937-41-7)
  • Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP, CAS 133-49-3) and
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD, CAS 87-68-3)

On November 21, 2023, the EPA released a proposed rule which would modify two of the five rules - on DecaBDE and PIP (3:1) (88 FR 82287). The modifications would include new phaseouts and workplace requirements, as well as extended compliance deadlines for certain critical applications.

Highlights of the proposed modifications are:

  • DecaBDE
    • Extends the compliance deadline for processing and distribution of decaBDE-containing wire and cable insulation for nuclear power generation facilities until the end of their service life
    • Establishes labelling requirement for shipping pallets containing decaBDE
    • Establishes a workplace protection program including respiratory and dermal personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for ongoing activities involving the substance
    • Prohibits any releases to water during the manufacturing, processing or distribution of decaBDE and decaBDE containing products
  • PIP (3:1)
    • Narrows the scope of the existing exclusion for PIP (3:1) in lubricants and greases to only aerospace and turbine uses, with all other uses to be phased out within five years
    • Replaces the existing automotive sector exclusion for new and replacement motor vehicle parts with a 15-year phaseout for new parts and an additional 15 years to phase out the substance in replacement parts
    • Replaces the exclusion for new and replacement parts for aerospace vehicles with a 30-year phaseout for new parts, while allowing replacement part use until the end of the service life of the vehicle
    • Extends the compliance dates for PIP (3:1) containing products and articles used in manufacturing equipment and the semiconductor industry until November 25, 2033
    • Adds a new exclusion to allow for the substance’s continued use in circuit boards and wire harnesses
    • Establishes a workplace protection program including inhalation and dermal PPE requirements for ongoing activities involving the substance

The EPA is not proposing to revise the existing regulations for the other three PBT chemicals 2,4,6-TTBP, HCBD and PCTP at this time.

Comments will be accepted until January 8, 2024.

With an extensive global network of highly experienced technicians and local state-of-the-art laboratories, SGS’s Restricted Substance Testing Service (RSTS) has developed a one-stop solution for manufacturers and suppliers. Discover more on our website, visit our RSTS cloud and contact us if you would like to learn more about how SGS can support. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested.

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