Final rules for five hazardous chemicals have been published by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). These became effective on February 5, 2021.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 019/21

 SG 01921 Chemicals2

In January 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) published five final rules in the federal register (86 FR 866-932) to regulate five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals under Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

These PBT chemicals are:

  • 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP, CAS 732-26-3) – an antioxidant in fuel additives and fuel injector cleaners as well as an additive in oil and lubricants
  • Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE, CAS 1163-19-5) – a flame retardant with applications in wire and cable rubber casings, textiles, electronic equipment casings, building and construction materials, and imported articles such as aerospace and automotive parts
  • Phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP 3:1, CAS 68937-41-7) – a flame retardant in plastics and as a functional fluid in aircraft and industrial machinery
  • Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP, CAS 133-49-3) – a substance with applications in the rubber industry
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD, CAS 87-68-3) – a solvent in rubber manufacturing and in hydraulic, heat transfer or transformer fluid

These final rules amend Subpart E – Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals to 40 CFR 751 on Regulations of Certain Chemical Substances and Mixtures Under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (40 CFR 751). The latest revisions contain provisions relating to, among other things, restrictions, prohibitions, record keeping, phase-in prohibitions for specific uses of DecaBDE and DecaBDE-containing products or articles, phase-in prohibitions for specific uses of PIP (3:1) and PIP (3:1)-containing products and articles, exemptions as well as downstream notifications for safety data sheets (SDSs) or on the label of PIP (3:1) and PIP (3:1)-containing products.

Highlights of the final rule for each of these five PBT chemicals are summarized in Tables 1 to 5.

Environmental Protection Agency, 86 FR 866, Final Rule, January 6, 2021
40 CFR Part 751 ‘2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP); Regulation of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals under TSCA Section 6(h) 
Entry
Scope Requirement  Effective Date 
1 Distribution in containers with a volume of less than 35 gallons ≤ 0.3%
January 6, 2026
2 Processing and distribution in oil and lubricant additives
≤ 0.3%
January 6, 2026
3 Distributors to maintain ordinary business records related to compliance with the prohibitions/restrictions and other provisions in § 751.409 
Record keeping for three years after record has been generated
January 6, 2026

Table 1. 2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP)

 

Environmental Protection Agency, 86 FR 880, Final Rule, January 6, 2021
40 CFR Part 751 ‘Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE); Regulation of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals under TSCA Section 6(h)
Entry Scope Requirement Effective Date
1 Manufacturing and processing of DecaBDE or DecaBDE-containing products or articles¹,²
Prohibited
March 8, 2021
2 Manufacturers, processers and distributors of DecaBDE or DecaBDE-containing products or articles to maintain ordinary business records related to compliance with the prohibitions/restrictions and other provisions in § 751.405
Record keeping for three years after record has been generated
(not required for footnotes 1 & 2) 
March 8, 2021
3 Distribution of DecaBDE or DecaBDE-containing products or articles
Prohibited
January 6, 2022
4 Manufacturing, processing and distribution for use in curtains in the hospitality industry, and the curtains to which DecaBDE has been added
Prohibited
July 6, 2022
5 Processing and distribution for use in wire and cable insulations in nuclear power generation facilities, and DecaBDE-containing wire and cable insulations 
Prohibited
January 6, 2023
6 Manufacturing, processing and distribution for use in parts installed in and distributed as part of new aerospace vehicles, and parts for such vehicles³
Prohibited
January 8, 2024
7 Manufacture, processing and distribution of DecaBDE-containing replacement parts for motor vehicles Prohibited
2036 or after the end of vehicles service lives, whichever is earlier

¹After the end of the pallets' service life, prohibits the distribution of DecaBDE-containing plastic shipping pallets that were manufactured before March 8, 2021 
²Exempts processes and distribution for recycling of DecaBDE-containing plastic from products or articles and DecaBDE-containing products or articles made from such recycled plastic
³After the end of aerospace vehicles service lives, prohibits importing, processing and distribution of the following:

  • DecaBDE-containing aerospace vehicles before January 8, 2024
  • DecaBDE-containing replacement parts for aerospace vehicles

Table 2. Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE)

 

Environmental Protection Agency, 86 FR 894, Final Rule, January 6, 2021
40 CFR Part 751 ‘Phenol, Isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP 3:1); Regulation of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals under TSCA Section 6(h)
Entry Scope Requierment Effective Date
1 Processing and distributing PIP (3:1), including PIP (3:1)-containing products or articles¹,²
Prohibited
March 8, 2021
2 Manufacturers, processers and distributors of PIP (3:1) or PIP (3:1)-containing products or articles to maintain ordinary business records related to compliance with the prohibitions/restrictions and other provisions in § 751.407
Record keeping for three years after record has been generated
(not required for activities in last 2 exemptions)
March 8, 2021
3 Release to water during manufacturing, processing and distribution
Prohibited
March 8, 2021
4 Photographic printing articles 
Prohibited
January 1, 2022
5 Adhesives and sealants
Prohibited
January 6, 2025

¹Exemptions:

  • Hydraulic fluids for aviation or military 
  • Lubricants and grease
  • New and replacement parts for motor and aerospace vehicles
  • Manufacture of cyanoacrylate adhesives in closed systems
  • Specialized engine air filters for locomotive and marine applications
  • Plastic for recycling from PIP (3:1)-containing products or articles
  • Finished goods or articles made of plastic recycled from PIP (3:1)-containing products or articles

²Downstream notification requirements, including language in safety data sheets (SDSs) or labels for PIP (3:1) or PIP (3:1)-containing products 

Table 3. Phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP, 3:1)

 

Environmental Protection Agency, 86 FR 911, Final Rule, January 6, 2021
40 CFR Part 751 ‘Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP); Regulation of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals under TSCA Section 6(h)
Entry
Scope Requirement Effective Date
1 Manufacturing and processing of PCTP or PCTP-containing products or articles Prohibited unless concentrations are ≤ 1%
March 8, 2021
2 Manufacturers, processers and distributors of PCTP or PCTP-containing products or articles to maintain ordinary business records related to compliance with the prohibitions/restrictions and other provisions in § 751.411 Record keeping for three years after record has been generated March 8, 2021
3 Distribution of PCTP or PCTP-containing products or articles Prohibited unless concentrations are ≤ 1%
January 6, 2022

Table 4. Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP)

 

Environmental Protection Agency, 86 FR 922, Final Rule, January 6, 2021
40 CFR Part 751 ‘Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD); Regulation of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals under TSCA Section 6(h)
Entry Scope Requirement Effective Date
1 Manufacturing, processing and distribution of HCBD or HCBD-containing products or articles¹
Prohibited
March 8, 2021
2 Manufacturers, processers and distributors of HCBD or HCBD-containing products or articles to maintain ordinary business records related to compliance with the prohibitions/restrictions and other provisions in § 751.413 Record keeping for three years after record has been generated March 8, 2021

1Exemptions:

  • Unintentional production of HBCD as a byproduct in the manufacture of chlorinated solvents
  • Processing and distribution of HBCD for burning as a waste fuel

Table 5. Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)

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