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By Pat Rizzuto
July 14 — Companies need the Environmental Protection Agency to specify exposure tests that would generate data the agency can accept to implement the amended U.S. chemicals law, a former EPA official said July 14.
Chemical manufacturers and processors will need to give exposure and toxicity data to the EPA for it to evaluate the risks of new and existing chemicals as required by the recently amended Toxic Substances Control Act, said Charles Auer, who directed the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics under multiple administrations.
Auer spoke July 14 during a webinar organized by Bergeson & Campbell PC.
The webinar focused on changes the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Pub. Law No. 114-182) made to provisions of TSCA that govern chemicals in commerce, called “existing chemicals,” and new chemicals, which manufacturers would like to make or import but have never been in U.S. commerce.
Health and environmental toxicity tests have been codified into law by the EPA, said Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell in Washington, D.C.
It can direct companies to use such tests to develop data using the order and other authorities provided under the Lautenberg Act, she said.
The agency does not have standard exposure tests, said Auer, a consultant with Charles Auer & Associates LLC.
“The need to develop those will slow things at least initially, but I'm confident EPA is up to the challenge,” he said.
Richard Denison, lead senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, said there are established methodologies for certain types of exposure tests that could provide EPA data.
These include environmental and biological monitoring equipment, Denison said. Monitors measure the presence of chemicals, for example, in the workplace, air, water or soil.
He agreed with Auer, however, that the agency will need to develop agreement on and issue guidance for other sources of exposure data. These include computer models that could generate exposure predictions, Denison said.
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