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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 130/16

SafeGuardS chemicals

On 22nd June 2016 President signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R.2576).

H.R.2576 significantly reforms the long standing TSCA Regulation which was passed in 1976. TSCA has been considered to be ineffective in regulating hazardous chemicals. Since its enactment 40 years ago, the law has resulted in the banning five chemicals.

Like the law it replaces, the new Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) is focused primarily on chemical substances rather than chemicals used in articles. The EPA may regulate articles if it is demonstrated that exposure to the chemical contained in the article is possible. The law does not pre-empt any state laws that affect manufacturers of consumer products that were enacted before April 22, 2016; this includes Proposition 65 and the Washington, Maine, and Vermont reporting laws.

The central focus of the amendment is to create a system that the EPA must follow for prioritizing which chemicals for scientific review of health and environmental effects, giving the EPA powers to require chemical manufacturers to test chemicals, granting resources to the EPA to fund chemical studies, setting concrete limits on the time the EPA has to review a chemical, and finally giving the EPA a framework and powers to regulate chemical use after the studies are complete. The EPA will be allowed to collect up to $25 million dollars a year in user fees from chemical manufacturers and chemical processors

The law contains many other provisions of interest to chemical manufactures, including new provisions to speed up the approval process for chemical substances and to assure that risk based science that only considers affects on health and the environment is used for evaluation of chemicals. The law contains provisions for protecting the Confidential Business Information (CBI) of chemical manufacturers, and the law creates a deadline for EPA review of CBI requests.

Some of the major items in H.R.2576 include:

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Parameter Effective Date Remark
EPA establishes criteria for prioritization of chemicals as high priority or low priority By 22 June 2017 (Within 1 year after enactment _
EPA selects and evaluates 10 chemicals from the 2014 TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments and to publish list By 18 Dec 2016 (within 180 days after enactment
  • EPA selects and evaluates at least 20 high priority chemicals and at least 20 chemicals have been designated as low-priority
  • Risk evaluation period to take no more than 3.5 years
By 22 Dec 2019 (within 3.5 years after enactment
  • Preempts states establishing restrictions or prohibitions for same scope during risk evaluation period.
  • The above is lifted once EPA completes evaluation or misses deadline for evaluation
  • States can continue to act on any chemical that EPA has not addressed
  • Existing state requirements prior to 22 April 2016 are grandfathered
  • Existing and new state requirements under state laws in effect on 3 August 2003 are preserved

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Kenneth Stanvick
Technical Manager
, Consumer and Retail Services
t: +01 603 305 4103

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